Hamlet ao5

Denmark’s a prison- emphasised with stone walls, bars, portcullis Kozinstev 1964 film
Ophelia taught a stiff dance like a puppet- lack of freedom, literally dancing to someone else’s tune Kozinstev 1964 film
– Ghost has no supernatural elements- talks in a normal human voice, sits calmly on the battlements Franco Zefirrelli 1990 film
– Act 3 Scene 1- Hamlet full of affection for Ophelia until she utters the words ‘longed long’ Kenneth Branagh 1996 (starring and directed by)
– Very young Hamlet- 23 years old Ben Wishaw as Hamlet 2004
– David Warner as Hamlet- 24 years old- Perhaps a 1960s youth- Slouching, rebellious, speaks conversationally- Critics noted how human he was- Elders trapping young generations Peter Hall director Hamlet 1965
Mel Gibson as Hamlet- Man of action- physical performance- clearly rational Zefirrelli Hamlet 1990
Very Freudian interpretation- Mel Gibson and Glen Close just 9 years apart in age Zefirrelli Hamlet 1990
Ophelia does not accidentally drown but is clearly bumped off stage by Claudius’ henchmen – Nicholas Hytner director, Hamlet 2010
Very political interpretation: – Hamlet’s actions have weighty political consequences- Public rather than private- Olivier narrow stairwells, here wide corridors full of people/ courtiers- Claudius’ speech read by town crier- Peasantry pushing round a portcullis Kozinstev 1964 Hamlet
– Contemporary NYC- Claudius CEO of Denmark Corporation- Ethan Hawke is an arty film student- observes- Peripheral, counter cultural figure Ethan Hawke ‘Hamlet 2000’ Almereyda
Ethan Hawke as Hamlet makes videos:- Mousetrap is a video montage- it is his play- In one of his montages, images of his parents are intercut with Ophelia- links of his sexuality with his mother Ethan Hawke ‘Hamlet 2000’ Almereyda
Hamlet stands up Ophelia (Julia Stiles) in a planned meeting Ethan Hawke ‘Hamlet 2000’ Almereyda
– Laertes and Ophelia very sexualised – Polonius’ household is dysfunctional Ethan Hawke ‘Hamlet 2000’ Almereyda
Hamlet is very mad- Long bed socks and vomit stained pyjamas- Spits in Ophelia’s face in ‘get thee to a nunnery’ and uses the moisture to wipe off her makeup- Performed at Broadmoor Hospital Mark Rylance Hamlet 1989
– Pryce as Hamlet utters his world in a state of possession- Making the ghost relevant to a secular audience- Demonic possession- Pryce had lost a parent Eyre 1980, Pryce as hamlet
– A student yearning for scholarship, disgusted at the world around him- When he observes ‘one may smile and smile and still be a villain’ he writes the thought down- Unconvincing revenger but believable soliloquies Simon Russel Beale Hamlet National Beale 2000
– Feigns his madness as a toy soldier in a play castle- Mocking militarisation/ Fortinbras’ militarism Benedict Cumberbatch 2015
Hamlet, has his bags packed to leave in Act 1 Scene 2- clearly ready to leave Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
Constant fiddling with his watch – reveals the loyalty to his father ‘The time is out of joint’ Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
Claudius’ disdain for his stepson is communicated in how he goes ‘and now…’ and everyone turns towards Hamlet, then addresses Laertes, who feels sheepish Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
Constant surveillance: never truly alone in the corrupt kingdom:- Ghost on CCTV- Polonius constantly wired up to report on Hamlet’s madness- Hand held cameras to track public leaders Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
Horatio/ Hamlet/ Laertes all look similar (foils) Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
Gertrude and Claudius are a genuine love match- Two are often intimate and his last act is to reach to the hand of his deceased wife- Gertrude hands a watch to Old Hamlet and then goes to embrace Claudius- Observer: ‘intoxicated with each other’ Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
– Set design- sliding doors that divide the stage in 2 Separates the brooding Hamlet, who is downstage with the fairy light waltzing party (at start), and at end becomes a barrier to a different frontier, patrolled by Old King Hamlet Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
– Gertrude seems to know the wine is poisoned, intervenes so her son doesn’t drink, effectively committing suicide Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
– Hamlet’s fencing- saying that he has been in ‘continual practice’ is a self-conscious joke- he is palpably unfit to be a revenger Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
– Polonius is far from a bumbling fool- his speech to Laertes is taken entirely seriously Almeida Theatre 2017Robert Icke
– Ghost is very ghastly- Gothic trips to introduce him, shrouded in mist, skeletal face beneath the helmet 1948 Laurence Olivier film
Modern Day interpretations to the Closet scene – Closet= private apartment in Elizabeth times- 20th century- fashionable to put it in Gertrude’s bedroom- Freudian
Hamlet as a joker – Mel Gibson- always larking around- Ethan Hawke- sombre/ intense
Hamlet’s misogyny is completely natural, considering Gertrude’s remarriage- ‘it is impossible to conceive an experience more desolating’ Bradley
– Hamlet’s attempt to contrive damnation for Claudius is ‘too horrible to read or to be uttered’- Sees Hamlet as delaying for moral/ethical reasons- now we take a more psychological approach Johnson
Hamlet’s nihilism is the reason for his inaction- ‘his will is snapped and useless’ Knight
Hamlet as the ‘paralysed intellectual’- can describe a problem but can’t act Marowitz
‘a man adrift from old faiths and not yet anchored the new’- Transition from a medieval way of thinking to Scientific revolution/ Galileo Granville- Baker
– Ophelia in burial scene becomes the embodiment of the male need for purity- ‘reclaims sexual desirability as a dead but perpetual virgin’ Traub
– In Hamlet, Early modern fear of female sexuality becomes a fear of sex itself- Hamlet’s language to describe it is like disease/ contagion Traub
Horatio’s speech at the end is ‘a bad quarto’- ‘a pirated edition based on memorial construction’ Calderwood
‘passionate grief, provoke by death of a loved one’ lies beneath HamletHowever- Hamlet is about a son mourning a father, name Hamlet existed in play, Shakespeare may have only seen his son Hamnet a few times Greenblatt
‘A Protestant son haunted by the ghost of a Catholic father’- Shakespeare himself- EM England- Reformation Greenblatt
– Sees Hamlet’s delay/ madness as functions of a plot where Hamlet’s behaviour is determined by Gertrude/ Claudius’s efforts to disinherit him- NO de Grazia
-‘The Hamlet impulse’- Hamlet extremely Romantic figure- sensitive, suffering intellectual- Drawn to Hamlet’s intense expression of the self- ‘I have a smack of Hamlet myself’ Coleridge Romantic criticism
– Hamlet used to justify and explain the ‘Oedipus Complex’- Hamlet cannot kill Claudius because he identifies with him- having done the very thing he wished to do himself- kill his father and have sex with his mother- Obvious in France Zeferrelli 1990 version- As a result- closet scene has often been set in the bedroom Freud
Sees Gerturde as a nurturing, maternal, caring presence Rebecca Smith
– Defends Gertrude- no hints she was an adulteress, just adapting to circumstances for the good of the Kingdom Heilbrun
– Shakespeare, with Hamlet has ‘perfected the means to represent inwardness’- Hamlet in a ‘strange interim’ for 5 acts between deciding and acting- hence his ‘inner theatre’ Greenblatt
Casting of a young Hamlet – More effective- maturing and growing up before the audience’s eyes
effect of having male actors play female roles – adds extra irony to Hamlet’s attack on women’s many faces
Pillars in the globe theatre – useful for concealing the play’s many spies
Critics about Hamlet’s death – Critical tendency to see Hamlet as the reincarnation of Hamlet, his son who died 4 years earlier- Shakespeare waited 4 years to find a proper outlet for his grief- some his ‘sunniest comedies’ were written in those 4 years (As You Like It/ Much Ado About Nothing)
Hamlet deliberately feigned fits of madness in order to confuse and disconcert the king and his courtiers Crawford
chose to present Claudius in Act 3 Scene 3 attempting to pray away from the public stage in the privacy of his chapel. This is emphasised in Branagh by placing Claudius directly beneath a crucifix Both Olivier (1948) and Branagh (1996)
Claudius’s first speech is the language of ‘a hypocrite and a villain’ Sagar
The speech is delivered using the full range of nuanced intonation to convey tender feeling shifting towards confident political control as he sends his ambassadors to deal with the threat of Fortinbras: ‘So much for him’. Patrick Stewart’s performance in Greg Doran’s 2009 ‘Hamlet
A strong, dominant Polonius played by Richard Cordrey inspired fear and duty from his children, evident in Ophelia’s body language. Richard Cordrey as Polonius 1964- John Gielgud
Gertrude, Penny Downie overtly sexual- and her persona is consistent with Hamlet’s views of her Greg Doran’s 2009 Hamlet
presents Gertrude as a mild, ineffectual but basically honest dynastic pawn. Unaware of political goings on, dies oblivious of Claudius’ intentions, there just to provide a gory backdrop to Claudius/ Hamlet’s fight Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 film -Julie Christie

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