Hamlet – Productions

Klines – madness played hamlet in tears = feigned
Pimlott’s production hamlet as a selfish zealot to a well established regime
Eyre’s production had the ghost as hamlet’s conscience, a Prince disturbed etc.it also made Denmark a place full of spies and overhearing.
Booth – (revenge) Killing claudius left his face with a look of horror, emphasising the moral conflict of the character ‘
Noble (ghost) Ghost appeared first, he erupted, like dracular, through the undweeded garden of raves and funeral wreaths – showing the problem of the ghost
Daniels (madness) Hamlet shuffled around the stage, in bed socks, vomit stained stiped pyjamas, resembling both a little boy and a patient in a lunatic asylum
Pimlott (madness, nihilism, claudius, anti-romantic) Depicted claudius as a man of conviction etc, not an immoral person. Claudius’ love for Gertrude is presented as real, when Gertrude drinks the poison, Claudius looks shocked and crawled across the floor to die with herDuring his first soliloquy, Hamlet points a pistol to his head – suicidalHamlet makes jokes after he kills polonius – cold hearted
Kozintsev As Hamlet entered elsinore, a portcullis/ gate shuts behind him.Denmark is a prison, where Hamlet is locked in. Hamlet also speaks to ophelia behind prison bars. It is filled with armed guards and courtiersOphelia is shown being trained in mechanical dance steps, enclosed in a rigid metal cage. – showing her as a prop for the crown and mad
Olivier (psychological) – Took a Freudian reading of the play and removed the political elements. Presenting him as alienated etc – There are frequent shots from the back of hamlets head to emphasise the psychological reading of the play. Notably in to be or not to be, the camera seems to penetrate his skull – Emphasis is placed on hamlet’s feigned madness. Eg Ophelia’s description of Hamlet’s visit to her in her chamber, shows a theatrical hamlet, violently shaking Ophelia’s arm
Branagh (closet) ‘Closet scene’ isn’t played in a bedroom (freudian reading like Doran version) instead it more violent and rash. It is also heavily shortened to emphasise the impulsivity of polonius’ murder. He seems fat more regretful for the murder in comparison to Doran’s production- During the closet scene – Hamlet and the ghost touch hands and Hamlet is in tears – showing how he is entranced by ‘thy commandment’
Branagh (ophelia) – Presents Ophelia genuinely in love with Hamlet – when ophelia talks to polonius about Hamlet’s visit- Ophelia is presented as sexually frustrated rather than mad, she is dressed in rags and sings off tune – Ophelia is presented as submissive etc
Branagh (prayer) – The prayer scene involves flashbacks – emphasis on his guilt
Branagh (political) – Room with mirrors and secret doors and passageways – This idea of surveillance/ invasiveness is paramount: eg. in the court, Claudius’ post-marriage address and the mousetrap is accompanied by courtiers – ensuring that every word exchanged by the crown can be heard – this thus explains the motif of pretence. – By reinserting the political scenes that Olivier and Zeffirelli had left out, Branagh places greater focus on the world of might and expediency, which parallel Fortinbras and Churchillian secular powerFortinbras, doesn’t physically put on the crown in the end, thus associating himself with sovereignty – making the point that monarchy is overthrown by tyrants, highlighting the political elements of the play- At the end – when fortinbras and Horatio are face to face – it is symbolic of Hamlet’s two personalities that he never achieves fully. Horatio – is scholarly and stoic. Fortinbras is pugnacious and bloodthirsty – At the end, Fortinbras’ soldiers hammer away at Old Hamlet’s statue, possibly supporting the idea of denmark being as corrupt and violent than under Claudius’ rule- Fortinbras is presented as an enemy – you are left with the impression that he will not restore stability, rather this is the start of a dictatorship- Branagh draws close focus on Fortinbras’ army destroying the walls and doors of the court, – suggesting that something is indeed ‘rotten in the state of denmark’- Fortinbras’ costume echoed that of Claudius yet in black rather than green. Suggests that Fortinbras is a dark dictator and highlights the cyclical nature of the play, that another person burg a dubious claim to the throne is sitting on it.
Doran – Agitated, t-shirt wearing man- Doran used glossy black mirror-like floor and full-sighted mirrors, and POV of CCTV – to highlight the surveillance.- (Patrick Stewart) plays both the ghost and Claudius – implying it is a ‘goblin damned’- Gertrude seems to know that the cup is poisoned and drinks it anyway, sacrificing herself for her son.
Branagh – madness – while teasing polonius – he shouts and slurs his words

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