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Time in the Play of Hamlet   By:

Time in the Play of Hamlet by Edward P. Vining

In Edward P. Vining's insightful analysis, Time in the Play of Hamlet, the author delves into the crucial role time plays within Shakespeare's famous tragedy. Vining skillfully explores the intricate relationships between time, action, and character development, shedding new light on the complex narrative structure of Hamlet.

The book immerses readers into the world of Hamlet, providing a thorough examination of how time functions as a driving force throughout the play. By examining the usage of temporal markers, such as the striking of the clock, Vining uncovers how Shakespeare masterfully manipulates time to heighten tension and advance the plot. The author highlights the significance of certain temporal references, notably the concept of "now," and shows how it underscores the urgency of the characters' actions and decisions.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Vining's analysis lies in his exploration of the psychological impact of time on the characters. He meticulously dissects how the protagonist, Hamlet, perceives time, followed by an examination of how this perception influences his behavior and choices. By offering a compelling psychological interpretation, Vining adds a fresh dimension to our understanding of the brooding prince.

In addition to the psychological exploration, Vining delves into the thematic significance of time in highlighting the eternal questions of mortality and the fleeting nature of life. Through meticulous analysis of specific scenes, Vining reveals how these themes are reinforced, adding depth to the play's resonance and meaning.

One commendable aspect of Vining's work is his accessible writing style, which allows both scholars and casual readers to engage with his examination of time in Hamlet. He adeptly blends scholarly research with thoughtful interpretations, making this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in Shakespeare's works.

However, it is worth noting that at times, Vining's analysis can become overly detailed, potentially overwhelming readers who are less familiar with the intricacies of Hamlet. While the depth of his examination is admirable, some might find certain sections overly dense and challenging to follow.

Overall, Time in the Play of Hamlet is an insightful and thought-provoking exploration of the multifaceted role time plays in Shakespeare's tragedy. Vining's comprehensive analysis offers a fresh perspective on familiar themes, shedding new light on the timeless appeal of Hamlet. Whether you are a seasoned scholar or a casual admirer of the play, this book invites you to embark on an intriguing journey through the temporal complexities of Hamlet's world.

First Page:

[ Transcriber's Notes:

Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation. Some corrections of spelling have been made. They are listed at the end of the text.

Italic text has been marked with underscores . ]

The Shakespeare Society of New York,


To promote the knowledge and study of the Works of Wm. Shakespeare, and the Shakespearean and Elizabethan Drama.


JUNE 15, 1885.

Resolved , That in order that the papers printed under authority of this Society may be of the highest character, and of value from all standpoints, the Society does not stand pledged as responsible for the opinions expressed or conclusions arrived at in the said papers, but considers itself only responsible in so far as it certifies by its Imprimatur that it considers them as original contributions to Shakespearean study, and as showing upon their face care, labor and research.

Papers of N. Y. Shakespeare Society, No. 5.

Time in the Play of Hamlet,


Read before the Society December 3d, 1885.

Press of the New York Shakespeare Society. 1886.

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