- Goldman, Michael. "Hamlet and Our Problems."
- Shakespeare and
the Energies of Drama.Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1972. 74-93.
Thesis: In the course of discussing how Hamlet appeals
to the audience's "desire for action that makes sense, especially for
action that seems complete and resolved" (76), Goldman compares the
characters of Brutus and Hamlet, writing,
Prince Hamlet strikes us as an intellectual for much the same reasons
Brutus does; we see them deliberating certain problems of action and
attempting to formulate them in abstract terms. But Brutus's problem
is that he would like to separate significance from the agents that
produce significance. Though he cannot kill Caesar's spirit without
killing Caesar, he tries to limit the significance of his act to the
spiritual, to treat the "genius" as if it were independent of its
"mortal instruments." Hamlet's problem, on the other hand, is to
attach significance to action, to overcome his initial sense
that all the uses of the world are flat and unprofitable, to fully
unite action and reason, to find a revenge which is both internally
and externally satisfying, an action that like all good acting holds
the mirror up to nature. (91-92)
Bottom Line: Not about Julius Caesar.