The Dynamicity of Hamlet Through Hegel’s Philosophy of Dialectics and The Epistemological Dilemma in Hamlet’s “Antic Disposition”

Ashley Suzanne Lowe


Many of the characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet seem to toggle with this idea of seeming and being. We see contradictory themes of skepticism and belief which rely on each other and develop throughout the play, as characters endure their own internal tug-of-war amidst the external “seeming.” And, as expected, the characters toggling with such ideas also face the tragic consequences of them: despair, rage, sadness, suffering, and death. After witnessing Hamlet’s tragic fate unfold, we are left wondering: is it even worth it to delve into the epistemological and ontological realm of what is? When looking at the tragedy through the scope of Hegel’s dialectics, we see the commonly coined plummet of Hamlet become his tragic venture into a plummeting dynamicity, and furthermore, we are met with the consequences of mankind’s pursuit of epistemological understanding—ideas which are echoed in works by Eric Levy and Anne Paolucci.


Hamlet; Shakespeare; Hegel; Dialectics; Antic Disposition; Epistemology

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