Critchley on Shakespeare

Simon Critchley is leading a summer school on Shakespeare and Philosophy in Tilburg next year. It’s for graduate students and you can find details here (via Continental Philosophy bulletin board). Critchley’s own lectures will focus on Hamlet – but discussions look to be wider. Why does Hamlet get so much attention, of all Shakespeare’s tragedies? Personally I much prefer King Lear and Othello.

I’m currently reading Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World, and hope to work through some more Shakespeare in preparation for the workshop in New York in February (some initial details here).

This entry was posted in Conferences, Simon Critchley, Stephen Greenblatt, William Shakespeare. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Critchley on Shakespeare

  1. Thomas says:

    You can see Critchley’s lecture on Hamlet at the EGS this summer here:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/egsvideo#p/u/10/rSSJ2RhdCmE
    I had the pleasure of taking Critchley’s class on tragedy’s relationship to philosophy at the EGS. It’s really fascinating stuff. What really gets Critchley going is the question of moral ambiguity which keeps decision open. Philosophy tries to close this off and answer the question “what should I do” whereas tragedy keeps this question open. When confronted with a true ethical question we don’t know what to do. Certainly you can see this play out in all of Shakespeare’s tragedies, but what makes Hamlet stand out for Critchley’s purposes is the indecisiveness of Hamlet. Hamlet is too much of the philosopher, too much theory, too much trying to interpret the world, not enough action. Hamlet is a kind of miss-cast character, a philosopher who doesn’t want to reject the role of sovereign, an indecisive sovereign or a non-sovereign.

  2. Pingback: Critchley on Hamlet | Progressive Geographies

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