Comment on the Imagery and Symbolism in Look Back in Anger

T. S. Eliot calls that Hamlet is an artistic failure. According to him, Hamlet is the Monalisa of literature, a work that is interesting, but not a work of art. It means the writer is unable to objectify the emotions. There are two reasons for it. First a work of art should be read in the context of the literary tradition on which an individual work is built and of which it is a part.
Shakespeare drew the material for his Hamlet from the plays of Thomas Kyd, but failed to make his play correspond to the original material. The second reason for calling Hamlet an artistic failure has to do with the lack of objective correlative. Shakespeare creates the character possessing emotion in excess because the emotion has no equivalence to the action of the character and the other facts and details in the play.
We can only criticize a work of art according to certain standards by comparing it to other works of art. Hamlet by Shakespeare owes its content to play by Thomas Kyd. In Kyd’s version of Hamlet the revenge motive is at the core of the play. Hamlet’s madness was mainly designed to avoid the people’s suspicion of his ability to murder a king surrounded by body guards and Hamlet did it successfully. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet the title character’s madness, on the contrary serves to arouse the king’s suspicion. This change is not complete enough. The delay in revenge goes unexplained. Moreover the Polonius-Laertes and Polonius-Reynaldo scenes are not explained satisfactorily. There is a little excuse for it. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a play dealing with the effect of a mother’s guilt upon her son, but Shakespeare was unable to impose this motive successfully upon the material of the old play. The variable versification shows that both workmanship and thought are in an unstable position. Thus the play cannot do justice to the original play to which it is indebted for its material.
Hamlet also fails as a work of art due to the obvious lack of objective correlative which is...