Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thoughts on Hamlet

Sooo Hamlet. Because Hamlet was my favorite Shakespeare play we've read, I was excited to see it performed on stage and I thoroughly enjoyed today's performance.
The actors did a fantastic job of bringing to life every element of the play and illustrating the scenes to get the point across. I felt that the actor who played Hamlet (who was REALLY good) showed Hamlet's descent into insanity very well. While I was reading, I would often forget that Hamlet was going crazy until he had some sort of giant outburst, but the actor made a continuous effort to portray Hamlet's mental deterioration in everything he did. I also enjoyed the closet scene between Hamlet and Gertrude. While reading the play, the sexual undertones between the mother and son are only slightly detectable, but the actors made sure to bring that overt sexuality to their scene and physically portray the implied incestual relationship. I also thought Ophelia's descent into insanity was portrayed wonderfully, especially the part with the baby doll and the singing childlike death songs. Very creepy.


Michell D said...

Personally, I would agree with you on just about everything you said. I think that the actor that portrayed Hamlet did an excellent job in doing so. He may not have been the most professional actor out there, but I felt that he was able to read the crowd, which happened to be a bunch of middle and high schoolers, so his childish antics were very appropriate. My only complaint about the play was really the audience, I think that the actors did a very good job on the comedic end, but the audience didn't "turn off their laughter" so to speak, and were laughing at times where they should have been serious. Basically what I am saying is that I don't blame the actors for this, it was more the maturity of the audience.

wkuehne said...

I thought it was interesting that Polonius literally snapped his fingers to make his children "heel". The actor made his children look like animals. Someone in Notes from Underground does the same thing, and I'm wandering if the snapping that Dostoesvky is supposed to portray the same image that the actor from Hamlet was trying to accomplish.

Lindsay A said...

Personally, I've always found Ophelia's descent into insanity a little bit awkward. But not just in the play performed, but in Shakespeare's original play too. It's simply that unlike Hamlet (where we see the process that turned him insane very closely), Ophelia goes from a normal woman to completely insane. So, I find it sort of odd to watch that sudden transition without being like - wait a moment.

Ben Bonner said...

I really liked Hamlet, both when we read it and the performance itself. One thing I liked about the portrayal of Hamlet was that he came across as being much more light hearted at times, such as when the actors first arrive. This serves both as comic relief and to accentuate Hamlet's insanity by making him appear bipolar.
One thing that I wasn't really big on though was the fact that the actors appeared in contemporary clothes instead of Elizabethan clothes. While Elizabethan attire would have been considered "contemporary" by Shakespeare's audience, using modern dress seems a little clunky, particularly when you consider the gun-sword dynamic.