University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

Beck is a graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma (a BA in Arts, Media, and Culture - Literature) and of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (an MA in English Literature). Their research has focused on Shakespeare, theater, British history, and queer and trans history. They currently work as a tutor, but aim to begin teaching at the college level soon. Their interests outside of academia include science fiction, tabletop roleplaying games, figure skating, and baking.

Document Type

Graduate Research Paper


Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and most often (mis-)quoted works. The central and titular character has likewise been an endless source of academic and artistic inquiry and exploration since nearly the creation of the work itself. However, this paper argues that a crucial and enlightening piece of the puzzle has, until recently, been left unexplored for the most part, considered a frivolous or non-serious pursuit: Hamlet’s and Hamlet’s queerness. Using historical research and evidence, close readings of the text, and examples of recent productions that have taken this element seriously, this paper argues that to fully understand the depth of the play and the character, one must encounter the text through a queer lens. In addition, Shakespeare’s status as a queer man in history, and the legacy of his work in the intervening centuries, are discussed and outlined as part of the queertinuum, a term founded, outlined, and described within this paper.


University of Minnesota Twin Cities


Master's Degree Exam


John Watkins