Volume 5, Issue 12, Spring 2010
John F. DeCarlo
The Poisoning of Hamlet’s Temporal Subjectivity
The paper addresses the question: why and how does Hamlet lose track of time in the Prayer-Closet scene sequence? While Deleuze aptly notes the poetic formula “the time is out of joint” is indicative of time no longer being subordinate to cyclical rhythms of nature, or as Polonius asserts: “Time is time”(II.ii.88), but rather movement being subordinated to time, it is argued that the HAMLET text goes further in its pre-figuration of Kant’s concept that time is a mysteriously autonomous form. More specifically, it is explicated that in a Kantian sense Hamlet's temporary identification with the Ghost’s categorical sense of what
is possible and impossible in accordance with the passage of outer time is what causes Hamlet’s temporal confusion.