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Out of Joint: Memento as Contemporary Hamlet

  • Eric S. Mallin
Chapter
Part of the Reproducing Shakespeare book series (RESH)

Abstract

Memento (dir. Christopher Nolan, 2000) embodies and reinterprets Hamlet through its psychically wounded hero, whose short-term amnesia commits him to a pointless search for vengeance that makes him vulnerable and exposes him to moral hazard. Both this and Coppola’s film show their Hamlet figures in a tragic and darkening landscape; these films neutralize and refuse to glorify the revenge impulse—arguably, as Shakespeare does as well. Nolan in particular casts the entire revenge project into doubt through the device of temporal, narrative dislocation (the story is told, for the most part, backward). The film displays a remarkable structural doubling with Shakespeare’s play, embedding a metacommentary on its tale as Hamlet does with The Murder of Gonzago.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric S. Mallin
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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