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A STUDY OF HAMLET.
The legend from which the outline of the tragedy of Hamlet is taken represents the Prince of Denmark as throughout feigning madness. Shakspeare has so far departed from what has justly been termed a coarse and mean model, and in the progress and termination of his play has so wholly abandoned the ancient story, as to leave us at liberty to say that the legend merely supplied him with a subject which he amplified and surrounded with greater beauty than could be borrowed. But a question has long existed, and still exists,—whether, when partly adopting the model, Shakspeare intended simply to portray the feigning of madness, or designedly drew a representation of one of the most delicate of the
shades of a mind really disordered.