'Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight’: The sense of sight in Hamlet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Can we believe what we see? The question is insistently and inconclusively raised in Hamlet through mention of the word ‘eye’ and imperative verbs such as ‘look’ and ‘see’. Theories of vision in early modern literature were driven by the work of Galen and mediated through the writings of thinkers such as Thomas Wright, Anthony Munday, and George Hakewill. In this chapter I examine the complex interplay between vision and emotion in Hamlet: a play in which the fallibility of vision is repeatedly connected to our inability to definitively read the emotions of others. I also consider the idea of emotional blindness and the gap between sight and emotional awareness in Hamlet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHamlet and emotions
EditorsPaul Megna, Brid Phillips, R.S. White
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030037956
ISBN (Print)9783030037949
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Shakespeare Studies
ISSN (Print)2731-3204
ISSN (Electronic)2731-3212


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