Intertextual Madness in "Hamlet": The Ghost's Fragmented Performativity Academic Article uri icon


  • This essay establishes King James I's Daemonologie and Reginald Scot's Discouerie of Witchcraft as intertexts for Hamlet. It demonstrates how the diabolical linguistic register borrowed from these intertexts both heightens the verisimilitude of Hamlet's madness and expands the performative potential of the Ghost. Performativity has often been discussed as a theme for this play, but usually only in relation to Hamlet himself. This essay avoids the reductionism of the "Ghost critics" and extends the performativity theme to the Ghost as well by offering him a diabolical mask to try on in addition to his many others.

published proceedings

  • Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Rforme
  • Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme

author list (cited authors)


complete list of authors


publication date

  • January 1998