Cinema: Elsinore of the Mind

Hamlet has obsessed the Western mind for 369 years. Why? It is not because most people love great works of art. On the contrary, most people find great works of art oppressive, since such works invariably center on the nature of human destiny, and that destiny is tragic. Quite simply, Hamlet is a world, and like the world, it cannot be ignored. Every man has lived some part of the play, and to be a man is to be inextricably involved in the play. Hamlet probes and grips the profound themes of existence—death, love, time, fidelity, friendship, family, the relationships of...

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