Nietzsche and Spengler on Hamlet: An Elaboration and Synthesis


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

When Hamlet remarks on how "the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought" and on how he has thought "too precisely on th' event" [Italics supplied], his choice of words would suggest that he himself regards as a distinct weakness the power of mind which dissolves meaning and purpose into nothingness and ultimate futility. And within the context of his role or character as Prince of Denmark and wronged and traumatized son he is justified in considering it in this light, for it hinders him from making such decisions and taking such actions as are expected of him or imposed upon him by the milieu in which he exists as character or personality, the stage and setting of his temporal being. Most critics who have found in Hamlet's reflective powers the primal cause of his inaction and indecision have agreed with him that this is weakness or imbalance, and here we must acknowledge the persisting influence of the theory of tragic flaw. Not only is something rotten in Denmark, but something must be "wrong" with Hamlet.

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