Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
'Hamlet' without Hamlet

'Hamlet' without Hamlet

$105.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521870252

$ 105.00 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 'Hamlet' without Hamlet sets out to counter the modern tradition of abstracting the character Hamlet from the play. For over two centuries, Hamlet has been valued as the icon of consciousness: but only by ignoring the hard fact of his dispossession. By admitting that premise, this book brings the play to life around man's relation to land, from graves to estate to empire. Key preoccupations are thereby released, including the gendered imperatives of genealogy, and man's elemental affinity to dust. As de Grazia demonstrates from the 400 years of Hamlet's afterlife, such features have disappeared into the vortex of an interiorized Hamlet, but they remain in the language of the play as well as in the earliest accounts of its production. Once reactivated, a very different Hamlet emerges, one whose thoughts and desires are thickly embedded in the worldly, and otherworldly, matters of the play: a Hamlet within Hamlet.

    • Provides a reading of Hamlet that restores the character's connection to the play
    • Written in a clear and lively style, it will appeal to a wide readership including students, scholars and general readers
    • Includes vivid illustrations, ten of which have not previously been reproduced in Shakespeare studies
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "De Grazia persuasively and with many supporting examples argues for the structural rather than psychological function of this pattern, which, by a concluding and somewhat surprising punch-line, she relates to then ’parousial structure,’ the deferred judgement, as in Everyman and Paradise Lost. Such bold gestures are part of the ‘sweeping claim’ of this book, which, even taken with a pinch of critical salt, offers a great deal of perceptive and original insight and fresh observation to make it one of the most rewarding critical accounts of this over-interpreted play to have appeared for some time."
    -Dieter Mehl

    "Hamlet without Hamlet is a powerful, tremendously erudite, and often brilliantly inventive reckoning of what time has done to our ability to read, and to comprehend, Shakespeare’s play."
    - Linda Charnes, Shakespeare Quarterly

    "This book offers a dazzling interpretation of the play that deftly reprises the history of Hamlet criticism...But do we really need another book on Shakespeare, let alone Hamlet? This luminous study pronounces a resounding affirmative."

    "This fascinating book is full of genuine insight; its analysis of critical history is salutary and worthwhile."
    -Bart Van Es, Times Literary Supplement

    ""Hamlet" without Hamlet is an extraodinary effort to reapproach and even re-create Shakespeare's most famous play by forever exorcising the modern Hamlet from its archaic battlements....With an editor's ear for the variant, the lost meaning, the allusion, and the icon, de Grazia is a superb reader of words and phrases, including their distributing across the several texts of Hamlet....De Grazia's readings reach deeply into diverse strata of historical and literary materials while rhizomatically ramifying into discourses contemporary to Shakespeare....Her analyses will certainly find their way into new editions and commentaries..."
    --Julia Reinhard Lupton, University of California, Irvine, Modern Language Quarterly

    "‘‘Hamlet’’ without Hamlet, winding together historical and formalist readings, is an exemplary work that achieves in the end what it has ambitiously set out to do—to make us see Hamlet and Hamlet afresh."
    -Peter Kanelos,Loyola University Chicago

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521870252
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 153 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.571kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: Hamlet without Hamlet
    1. Modern Hamlet
    2. 'Old Mole': the modern Telos and the return to dust
    3. Empires of world history
    4. Generation and degeneracy
    5. Doomsday and domain
    6. Hamlet's delay
    Select bibliography.

  • Author

    Margreta de Grazia, University of Pennsylvania
    Margreta de Grazia is Joseph B. Glossberg Term Professor in the Humanities, Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.