Hamlet's Choice - A Reformation Allegory

Author: Hoff, Linda
Based on research into apocalyptic and Mariological imagery in Hamlet, the work offers a comprehensive solution to Hamlet's perennial problems. The study includes an examination of the textual history and various biblical translations and word comparisons. The guide aims to convince through historical analysis that standard readings of "Hamlet" have missed a theological superstructure running throughout the play.


". . . an outstanding example of new historicism at work . . . ." _ South Carolina Review ". . . an honest and even in some ways a rather endearing piece of work. [The author] has accumulated a formidable amount of information . . . she gets a great deal out of what others have passed over. . . . There is a certain fascination in reading Hamlet's Choice, so much arcane information is gathered in from so many obscure works and dusty corners and set out with such admirable clarity." _ Notes and Queries

"[T]here is much worth in this study: that Shakespeare was conscious of the religious debates of his day, that Hamlet has an undeniably religious vigor to it _ these points are well taken . . . . for academic libraries that desire the most complete collection of Hamlet materials." _ Choice "an extraordinary book . .. unlike any other before . . ..Thoroughly documented and up-to-date.. . . Make no mistake about it: this is an arduously researched book with extremely close reasoning. A short review simply cannot do it justice." _Hamlet Studies ". . . copiously underpinned by theological and historical research (helpfully kept accessible through the extensive name and subject Index. . ." _Shakespeare - Jahrbuch

". . . includes a trenchant examination of the textual history and reception of various biblical translations, exhaustive word comparisons, and etymological glosses. . . . Hoff's book is successful in forwarding the notion that standard readings of Hamlet may have missed the mark. Its strength rests in its successful advancement, through rigorous historical analysis, of the idea that the play could be contained by a previously overlooked theological superstructure. This is at once disturbing and fascinating." _ South Atlantic Review