Quintessence of Dust: The Mystical Meaning of Hamlet

Quintessence of Dust: The Mystical Meaning of Hamlet

by Kenneth Chan

A Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award Finalist
with Honorable Mention


Shakespeare’s Hamlet contains a profound spiritual message for mankind that has been largely unrecognized for centuries. The meaning of Hamlet so perplexed critics over the last four hundred years that many finally concluded, after immense struggle, that the play lacks a binding philosophy. Nothing, in fact, is more wrong.

Quintessence of Dust now explains how Shakespeare meticulously crafted every scene to convey, through our emotional involvement in the drama, a central spiritual message. The book also explains by a single coherent theme practically every aspect of the play that has puzzled critics for centuries, including the following:

All these, and more, are shown to be artistic means of imparting the central message of the play. It demonstrates that Hamlet is nothing short of an artistic miracle, reflected both in its poetic brilliance and in its profound meaning.


Why Hamlet Delays His Revenge

The reason for Hamlet’s delay has haunted critics for four centuries. Different authors have presented differing reasons for the delay, which, in itself, raises another question concerning this puzzling aspect of the play: Why does Shakespeare give so much prominence to the delay without clearly presenting the reason for it? The answer helps point us toward Shakespeare’s own reason for Hamlet’s delay.

The Meaning Behind the Dialogue Between Polonius and Reynaldo in Hamlet

Why does Shakespeare dwell so much on this dialogue, especially since we never hear of Reynaldo, or what he did with the instructions to spy on Laertes, ever again? This paper reveals that Shakespeare actually crafts the dialogue to convey a profound message – a message that resonates through the entire play to reach a thundering climax at the final duel scene.

How Shakespeare Conveys His Meaning through Cohesive Unity, Focused Allegorical Scenes, and Thematic Resonance

How Shakespeare makes use of these three techniques to convey the deep meaning in Hamlet: Cohesive unity, focused allegorical scenes, and thematic resonance. They provide overwhelming evidence for Shakespeare’s authorial intent in meticulously crafting Hamlet to convey a profound message.