Infinities and Infinitesimals: Shakespeare’s Hamlet

  • Joseph JarrettEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


This chapter considers how the infinitely large and the infinitely small permeate the language and structure of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It argues that the play is subtly embroiled with the mathematical implications of Copernican cosmography and its Brunian atomistic extension, and offers a potential linkage between the social circles of Shakespeare and Thomas Harriot. Hamlet, it goes on to suggest, courts such ideas at the cutting-edge of contemporary science in order to complicate the ontological context within which Hamlet’s revenge act must take place.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Magdalene CollegeUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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