[Review] Rhodri Lewis. Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. Pp. 392. $39.95 (cloth).
In Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness, Rhodri Lewis argues that Shakespeare’s most famous play should be understood as a violent repudiation of practically every tenet of Renaissance humanism. Aristotle, Cicero, Boethius, Erasmus, and many others, Lewis contends, are permitted to haunt the words spoken in Shakespeare’s Denmark, only so that the ghosts of these thinkers can finally be laid to rest, once and for all. Hamlet himself is presented as a bricolage of this intellectual hall of fame, whose befuddled articulations of conventional wisdoms work precisely to lay bare the toxic nonsensicality and ultimate futility of the mainstream of sixteenth-century intelligence.