William Shakespeare has always been regarded as a rebel against Classicism. Critics who regard him as such judge him by the principles of Aristotle''s ''Poetics''. In fact, ''Poetics''—though of a permanent value as a first-hand statement of what we may call the classical view of criticism—is not taken to be a theory of poetry''; it is no more than a description of the plays written by Aristotle''s contemporaries and near-contemporaries. Moreover, it has nothing to do with Classicism because the first writer known to have used the word "classicus" is Aulus Gellius, a second-century Roman author who was much concerned with the correctness of various sorts. It is, therefore, inaccurate to restrict the meaning of Classicism to ''Poetics''; one must search for its right features as rendered in literary criticism. This book, untraditional in both theory and practice, is an attempt to scrutinize the most outstanding features of Classicism (Literary Tradition, Reason and Clarity of Thought, and Realism) and apply them to Shakespeare''s ''Hamlet'' to see how far this masterpiece, in particular, and other Shakespearean plays, in general, can be judged as classical.