BENJAMIN’S HAMLET: betrayal and rescue of the revolutionary-new

Angelaki 23 (6):111-128 (2018)

This article argues that Walter Benjamin’s aesthetico-political philosophy cannot be understood without reconsidering Hamlet. It elucidates Benjamin’s Hamlet via his theory of Baroque “mourning” and its counter-measure, the “Saturnine Dialectic.” It likewise offers an analysis of the 1877 Herman Ulrici edition of Hamlet, the German edition Benjamin cites exclusively. This analysis reconciles the differences in the secondary literature regarding Benjamin’s Hamlet, expounding upon the edition’s singular use of the word “foreordination”. Finally, by rereading Benjamin’s Hamlet through Carl Schmitt’s Hamlet or Hecuba, it argues that Fortinbras’s succession, effectuated by Hamlet’s dying voice, conditions the repetition of sovereignty in Hamlet, betraying the emergence of the new. Despite this betrayal, the revolutionary potential that is sunken into the content of Hamlet is disjunctively brought to the surface by examining the “dialectical image” of Laertes’s rebellion, rescuing what I term the revolutionary-new from the jaws of defeat.
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DOI 10.1080/0969725x.2018.1546995
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References found in this work BETA

The Origin of German Tragic Drama.Walter Benjamin - 1978 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 37 (1):103-104.
The Politics of Time.Peter Osborne - 1994 - Radical Philosophy 68.

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