It is not an irony that Kierkegaard and Hamlet are both Danes. It’s a coincidence, for sure. Coincidences are neither big nor small; they just are.
What is ironic? What is irony? Do we teach it anymore, how to have a sense of it, how to find it, see it when it stares us in the face? Are ironies either simple or supreme, and if they can be either one, can they be anything in between? What lies between? I’ve said before how interesting it is that the between aids and abets lying.
Is it ironic that Kierkegaard and Hamlet are both Danes? I wouldn’t know what to say about this. Danish society lending itself to suicide as no other in western society? I once heard, in a bar, at the bar, that the Danes kill themselves at a rate near the Japanese. I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. I know that that is not ironic–or maybe it is to someone.
Irony is rich in itself. Life is one protracted escapade in the ironic, c’est absurde, c’est vrai. Hamlet is the father of modern consciousness. Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy represents a hallmark moment in the birth of the modern. We are all his kin, and certainly lately less than kind to his father, if I can borrow from Cervantes for Shakespeare; the former alluded to Quioxte and Panza as the children of his brain, but what Hamlet reveals is mind. I know the universe is absurd. That’s also how I am convinced that there is a God. Only a created universe could be so absurd. If it were only Nature, the universe would make more sense.
It’s true, that before Hamlet, characters in fiction just did (do) not overhear themselves. Perhaps this mind that Hamlet reveals is not as distinct from soul as we might want to believe today, all of us marching to the drum-beat of one secular dogma or another against the existence of soul, all in an attempt by atheist materialists can gain economic hegemony. Remember, if God were really dead, then all would be permissible. Dostoevsky is one of my spiritual kin–but there then is spirit, is soul. Hamlet believes; I’m not exactly sure about Kierkegaard. Secular dogmas we enforce intellectually with as much rabidity as any religious institution. The rabbis of Spain showed Spinoza a match and he fled to the Netherlands.
We support beliefs we would otherwise not support if we had the mind to think, but we nevermind so much daily, we have forgotten how to think in anything but the most greatly disseminated received ideas. And this, in irony, is true of those who profess to be the most aware of our society’s ills. We are like a doctor who diagnoses a disease all the while he does everything to contract the disease.
I do not understand how we can be so sure that we need to doubt the existence of a soul, when we are quick to believe in the existence of a mind that anatomists, biologists, medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists can not locate. I recall learning that the French use one term for both soul and mind. For the French, there is a duality of soul and mind, mind-soul, soul-mind. In English, they are separate words, thus there tends to be a dichotomy in how we think about them.