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JOSEPH -Publication Information : Book Title : Conscience and the King : A Study of Hamlet . Contributors : Bertram Joseph - author . Publisher Chatto and Windus . Place of Publication : London . Publication Year : 1953 Page Number : 28

that in health the sanguine humour should predominate until the age of twenty-five , the choleric from then until thirty-five : the next phase--of melancholy--lasts until fifty , and at the end comes old age dominated by phlegm .1 As M . Andreas Laurentius says "All such as we call melancholic men , are not infected with this miserable passion which we call melancholy : there

are melancholic constitutions , which keep within the bounds and limits of health "1b

It is important for us to realize that like Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy and Bright in his Treatise of Melancholy are concerned with the various kinds of illnesses the lists of symptoms remedies , case-histories and anecdotes which they give do not apply to the man in whom there was nothing more than a constitutional predominance of "native " melancholy , a black secretion produced in the bile . A man of this kind might well have a tendency towards fearfulness sadness , or gravity of disposition , but he was not regarded as abnormal or ill . And that the healthy melancholic was not irresolute is plain from Wye Saltonstall 's Character

His actions show no temerity , having been long before intentions , and are at last produced as the ripe issue of a serious , and deliberate resolution .1c

Shakespeare tells us enough of what he has imagined of Hamlet before his troubles to make it clear that the Prince was not constitutionally melancholy as far as Elizabethans were concerned , but showed all the signs of a noble and well-balanced sanguine temperament . It is true that nowadays to comment upon events which might have taken place before the action of a Shakespearian play begins is to incur--not without reason--the obloquy cast upon those who enquire after the number of the children of a celebrated tragic queen . But we need not be deterred from considering Hamlet before his father died

FENDT - Publication Information : Book Title : Is Hamlet a Religious Drama ?An Essay on a Question in Kierkegaard . Contributors : Gene Fendt - author . Publisher : Marquette University Press . Place of Publication Milwaukee . Publication Year : 1998 . Page Number : 60

heartsick powers move . This ghost is both transcendent and immanent

So then , in to read adequately we must be as dialectical as Hamlet : the play is the permanent tutor to our discretion . Though Hamlet criticizes himself as muddy-mettled , we must take into account what follows : a test of the ghostly ambiguity which has muddied things for him . So too , when he castigates himself again for his delay in 4 .4 we must consider whose presence it follows hard upon : Fortinbras ' -- who rushes in where angels ought not tread , nor men neither : to risk life and limb for a Polish eggshell . Like Hamlet toward Horatio (1 .2 .171 , we should not do our ears such violence as to make them truster of his own report...

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