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Harold Copping’s Hamlet

Alan R. Young has been studying and comparing how Shakespeare’s works were translated into visual arts in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and his extensive work went into a book called Shakespeare and the Visual Arts, 1709-1900.

Here you can find a generous slice of Young’s research, in the form of an essay centred on the visual representations of Hamlet. What I find especially interesting is how Young traces the ties between illustrations, paintings, toy-theatres etc., and certain specific printed texts, or certain productions of the tragedy.

What goes into illustrations? How does it go there? How does the common perception of a certain character or plot incident shape illustration – or viceversa? A very intriguing read.