Hamlet's Absent Father
Avi Erlich


Avi Erlich finds that Hamlet deals not with repressed patricidal impulses but with a complex search, partially unconscious, for a strong father. Much more than he wants to have killed his father, Hamlet wants his father back and seeks a strong man with whom to identify. The playwright presents one ambivalent father figure after another, each an imitation or parody of the seemingly titanic king. Polonius, Osrick, Yorick, Old Fortinbras, Priam, Achilles, Horatio—these are a few versions ofthe father who bequeathed to his son his own ambivalence.

First published in 1978.

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