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‘For by the Image of My Cause, I See / The Portraiture of His’: Hamlet and the Imitation of Emotion

Meek, Richard


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Dr Richard Meek
Lecturer / Programme Director for the MA in English


Paul Megna

Bríd Phillips

R.S. White


This chapter explores the ways in which Hamlet is part of a larger textual network of mimetic models, and how the play recalls other texts that are concerned with representing emotion. It examines various works from the period that use pictorial metaphors to express sympathetic correspondence, or the relationship between the self and the other. Such texts—including Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece and Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge—acknowledge the ways in which emotional correspondence can involve emulation as well as imitation. The chapter argues that the emotional competition between the characters within these texts resembles the aesthetic rivalry between the authors of these texts. In this way, the period’s fascination with emotional imitation is enacted on a textual or intertextual level.


Meek, R. (2019). ‘For by the Image of My Cause, I See / The Portraiture of His’: Hamlet and the Imitation of Emotion. In P. Megna, B. Phillips, & R. White (Eds.), Hamlet and emotions (81-108). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Acceptance Date Dec 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 2, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Dec 3, 2020
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 81-108
Series Title Palgrave Shakespeare Studies
Book Title Hamlet and emotions
ISBN 9783030037949
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