29072 - English Literature (1) (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Course contents

                                Hamlets / Amleti

This course will discuss the development of the myth of Hamlet, from its Scandinavian origins, through the three Shakespeare texts of Hamlet, to later adaptations, rewritings and film versions. It will also enquire into the centrality of Shakespeare’s tragedy within modern and postmodern cultural theory, from Nietzsche to Freud to Lacan to Derrida and beyond. The most significant critical interpretations of the play will be compared.


William Shakespeare, Hamlet, ed. G.R. Hibbard. Oxford: World’s Classics.

Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology, ed. Jean I. Young. Berkeley: University of California Press.

The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, tr. Jesse L. Byock. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Saxo Grammaticus, The History of the Danes, Books 1-9, ed. Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson. Woodbridge: DS Brewer

Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy, edited by J.R. Mulryne. London: A. and C. Black.

Ernest Jones, Hamlet and Oedipus. London: Gollancz.

Jacques Lacan, “Desire and the Interpretation of Desire in Hamlet”, tr. Jacques-Alain Miller, Yale French Studies, No. 55/56, Literature and Psychoanalysis. The Question of Reading: Otherwise. (1977), pp. 11-52.

Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, translated by Peggy Kamuf. New York: Routledge.

Stephen Greenblatt, Hamlet in Purgatory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. New York: Grove Press

Heiner Mueller, The Hamletmachine, 1979, tr. Dennis Redmond.

Carmelo Bene, Hamlet suite: versione-collage da Jules Laforgue, in Opere. Milano: Bompiani.

Other material will be available online.

Assessment methods

Written essay and oral exam.

Office hours

See the website of Keir Douglas Elam