Traditional Cosmology and Hamlet’s Delay--—Four Humours and Their Activation of His Personal Character

Xiufang ZHANG


There have been countless ways and perspectives to look into the causes and reasons why Hamlet has delayed in taking his revenge against his father’s death. However, one thing should be noticed is that the Four Humour theory might serve well to explain the situation. Traditional cosmology holds that macrocosm contrasts and corresponds to microcosm by way of the two parallel analogies: for the former, the Four Roots to construct and build the cosmos or the world are water, fire, air and earth, and correspondingly for the latter, the human being is affected and even controlled and directed by the Four Humours, Phlegm, the Yellow Bile, Blood and the Black Bile, and thus form their various states of character. Though everybody has a tendency of determination of personal character by these four fluids, Hamlet together with his special elements has fostered his character by the service of objective backgrounds and subjective vicissitudes of all four fluids like that which has balanced the system of all seasons of the macrocosm.


Traditional Cosmology; Hamlet; Delay; Four Humours; Activation; Personal Character

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