Urgency and Delay: The Experience of Time in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
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William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1599-1601) is known for its famous delay, making time an important and central concept in the play. This thesis analyses time and temporality, focusing on the possibility in difference between time as it is objectively known to pass and time as it is subjectively experienced. The thesis will do this by asking the question of how the concept of time functions in and adds to the story as presented in Hamlet. The analysis will in part be linked to the broad concepts of grief, mourning, memory and trauma. The thesis does so by close-reading the text of Hamlet and comparing objective and subjective time, uncovering the sometimes perceived as incoherent modes of time in Hamlet. The difference in objective and subjective time is then further expanded upon in light of the subjective experience of a traumatic death, mourning and time. This results in a conclusion that views the multiplicity of time in Hamlet not as problematic but as a possible addition to the experience of the themes of grief and mourning present in the play.