Posts Tagged ‘Hamlet’
Wow. This is the last one. The last entry of 365 Days of Shakespeare! And what a crazy year. I’m still sort of amazed that I managed to (retroactively) finish something I started, since honestly…that doesn’t happen too often. I have about six half-finished novels and four outlined plays that can testify to that. But it has been a lot of fun, and I have learned a lot. Hopefully I’ve provided some interesting tidbits and laughter along the way. Well, here is the last entry…and then on to the next project!
NUMBER 1: Hamlet
This really shouldn’t surprise anyone, and I know that there will be some eye-rolling as it is assumed that every Shakespeare fan’s favorite play is Hamlet. It isn’t. I’m actually weird in this regard – most people I talk to either love Hamlet but don’t rank it as their favorite, think it’s okay but is kind of annoying, or outright can’t stand the play. Which blows my mind. I have loved this play since I was a little girl and my mom got me the Animated Tales version, then took me to see a family friend play Horatio (my dream role since that tender young age). I love the delicate beauty of the soliloquies, the deep, harrowing look at madness, and the heartbreaking emotion of every confrontation. Hamlet is truly one of the greatest characters ever written. Call him a whiny emo kid all you want, you can’t deny the kid can craft a sentence into a work of art. Hamlet also allows for so much interpretation that it is almost impossible to see two companies perform the show exactly the same way – there is almost always at least one glaring variation. For being the first Shakespeare play I ever loved, Hamlet takes the number-one spot in my heart.
It just occurred to me that the quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream that is so lovely – “Lovers and madmen have such seething brains/Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend/More than cool reason ever comprehends” – would be really interesting if a space was inserted between “mad” and “men”. Thus creating “Mad Men”. And now that I think about it, we could probably apply a Shakespearean character to each one on Mad Men…Don has a bit of a Hamlet complex now and then, especially when you consider the daddy/mommy issues…
Check out these goodies provided by PBS Arts! They are featurettes going behind the scenes of Macbeth and Hamlet, and plenty of Patrick Stewart goodness. What’s not to love?
The preview for Macbeth looks pretty great, if you ask me. I haven’t seen any interpretations set in “modern” times (I use quotes because, really, if you’re speaking in iambic pentameter, it’s only so modern) that have really translated well to me, but this one looks like it might succeed. I like the creepy nurses as the witches!
The way I see it, there are three main options for Ophelia’s death:
1. It was an accident, and everything Gertrude says is true (if prettied up a little for Laertes’ benefit).
2. It was suicide, and Gertrude is lying so that Ophelia can have a Christian burial.
3. Gertrude pushed her in.
Okay, so the third option is pushing it a little, but actually, depending on how Gertrude is played, it can fit. It could have been considered a mercy kill. If Gertrude is portrayed as knowing exactly what kind of a man Claudius is, what he has done, and probably having some idea of her ultimate fate, then she could certainly have wanted to protect Ophelia from any more misery than she was already suffering.
Just a quick thought from yours truly before I head off to work.
The number 8 spot is awarded to “What a Piece of Work is Man” from the Broadway musical Hair.
My friend ‘Rick Gray has just started writing for Helium, and one of his articles explores the question of fatherhood in Hamlet. Really interesting take on the play and definitely worth reading.
Not that I know anything about Star Trek apart from the most recent movie (which was awesome, by the way), but it seems that the hardcore fans could out-fan the nerds for Harry Potter on a good day. And that’s really saying something.
So even though I am not a Trekkie or a Trekker or whatever it is that the fans like to be called (I’m a Potterite, myself), I can appreciate the sheer level of geeky fandom necessary to create the production of selections from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing performed entirely in Klingon.
This level of geekery is to be praised, admired, and feared by all who witness it. It is a true feat to be that geeky. I mean, Trekkies/ers are one thing, Shakespeare nerds are another thing, but to combine the two? That, my friends, is a perfect storm of dorkishness. And I love it.
Ramona had seven evil exes. Ophelia had six alternatives to drowning.
My favorite is number five. It would have made for a great sequel…
Anyone who has heard those words knows what joy usually follows them. I’m talking, of course, about the Nostalgia Critic himself, a guy who willingly watches terrible movies from the childhoods of twentysomethings and reviews them. He gets a little crazy and angry at them sometimes, but generally has very smart reviews and is pretty hilarious.
One of his more serious videos – kinda – is his “Top 20 Favorite Movies” post. Not all of these relate to Shakespeare – just the bottom two – but I had to post it because, well, they relate to Shakespeare.