Hamlet becomes a hero by keeping his revenge waiting until its expression serves other, more legitimate purposes.
5. The scene in which Hamlet stabs the man behind the curtain is a symbol for all acts of revenge.
8. Some commentators argue that the force of Hamlet's hatred of Claudius stemmed not from the fact that Claudius killed Hamlet's father but because Claudius has acted out Hamlet's own long-repressed Oedipal fantasy, i.e., to eliminate the father and marry the mother.
Edited by Arthur Kinney, this recent addition to Routledge's Shakespeare Criticism series includes ten original essays written by British and American scholars and grouped under three headings: "Tudor-Stuart Hamlet," "Subsequent Hamlets," and "Hamlet after Theory." In his valuable introductory essay, Kinney pores through the wealth of sources, productions, and critical assessments of the play dating from the beginning of the seventeenth century. He includes a useful section on cultural contexts, in which he reappraises Elizabethan treatises on melancholy, revenge, and the nature of ghosts in relation to Hamlet's famous delay. Kinney's most original contribution, however, is his survey of the performance history of the play. Rather than limit his discussion to portrayals of Hamlet by legendary British actors such as Richard Burbage and David Garrick, Kinney surveys the international dramatizations of the [End Page 88] play over the centuries, including productions in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Prague, Salzburg, Paris, and New York.
Kinney also offers a thorough review of critical approaches to Hamlet. While his discussion of deconstruction is limited to Howard Felperin's dated, if foundational, analysis of the play, Kinney's assessment of psychoanalytic criticism on Hamlet ranges well beyond traditional Freudian accounts of the prince's melancholy and includes a survey of interpretations of Hamlet's character from the perspective of Jung's theory of the anima, the developmental psychology of R. D. Laing and D. W. Winnicott, and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Kinney usefully summarizes modern feminist discussions of Gertrude's and Ophelia's relationship to patriarchy, focusing on influential essays by Carolyn Heilbrun, Rebecca Smith, and Carol Thomas Neely. Some readers will miss a more detailed evaluation of political and economic criticism of the play, but Kinney does offer an interesting account of new-historicist and cultural-materialist assessments of Polonius's character. In general, Kinney's introduction is admirable not only for its comprehensiveness but also for its even-handed treatment of disparate critical methodologies.
The first three essays under the heading "Tudor-Stuart Hamlet" are the weakest of the volume. In "Shakespeare at Work: The Invention of the Ghost," E. Pearlman examines Shakespeare's departure from convention in constructing a Ghost who lacks the supernatural trappings of ghosts found in earlier revenge tragedies. Little here adds significantly to the well-established accounts of the Ghost in works by Eleanor Prosser, Roland Frye, and, more recently, Stephen Greenblatt. Pearlman's essay is followed by R. A. Foakes's "Hamlet's Neglect of Revenge." Foakes argues that Hamlet's delay is caused by his awareness of a tension between "a quasi-Senecan desire for revenge, and a Christian inhibition against taking life" (91). This is a compelling, if not entirely original, thesis, but Foakes does not provide enough evidence to make it convincing. When Foakes suggests, for example, that the Ghost's description of "Murder most foul" provides a "Christian qualification of his [Old Hamlet's] Senecan call for revenge" (89), he assumes that Hamlet would read the lines as he does and would see this comment and others as references to biblical injunctions against revenge. In the next essay, "The Dyer's Infected Hand: The Sonnets and the Text of Hamlet," Philip Edwards traces an analogy between the composition and emendations of the sonnets and Hamlet. According to Edwards, "The texts of Hamlet reveal a measuring and a remeasuring of the old revenge story, just as the text of the sonnets measures and remeasures the old betrayal story. It is in this activity of constantly changing the perspective while the object remains the same that I find the closest link between the sonnets and Hamlet" (108). Given such a generalized basis for comparison, one wonders what justifies a pairing of the sonnets and Hamlet specifically, rather than a pairing of the sonnets and other revised plays (KingLear comes to mind) in which Shakespeare's principals change their "perspective" on the objects that exercise their imaginations. [End Page 89]
The purpose of this excursion was to study different dramatic elements and practice writing a play review, as well as to get a glimpse into the history of South African apartheid.
Not knowing the sword is poisoned, Hamlet begins to use it and pricks Laertes.) The unintended consequence of Laertes' act of revenge is his own death.
The play depicts the lust that Phaedra has toward her stepson Hippolytus and the tragedy that her desire for him causes, which is the death of Hippolytus, Oenone, and even her own life....
Children of today's society would most likely prefer staying inside playing Guitar Hero on their Xboxes or watching the latest episodes of their favorite television show during their free time.
The time for imaginative and physical play is slowly being pushed to the side as the years pass by, and room is being made for empty, redundant television shows and video games.
Anton Chekhov’s The Proposal is a comical play that is distinctive from others, given its circumstances, in the way the author has written his play, as well as how the reader can interpret what he is trying to convey....
Acting in Real Time by renowned Dutch director and acting teacher Paul Binnerts describes his method for Real-Time Theater, which authorizes actors to actively determine how a story is told---they are no longer mere vehicles for delivering the playwright's message or the director's interpretations of the text. This level of involvement allows actors to deepen their grasp of the material and amplify their stage presence, resulting in more engaged and nuanced performances. The method offers a postmodern challenge to Stanislavski and Brecht, whose theories of stage realism dominated the twentieth century. In providing a new way to consider the actor's presence on stage, Binnerts advocates breaking down the "fourth wall" that separates audiences and actors and has been a central tenet of acting theories associated with realism. In real-time theater, actors forgo attempts to become characters and instead understand their function to be storytellers who are fully present on stage and may engage the audience and their fellow actors directly. Paul Binnerts analyzes the ascendance of realism as the dominant theater and acting convention and how its methods can hinder the creation of a more original, imaginative theater. His description of the techniques of real-time theater is illuminated by practical examples from his long experience in the stage. The book then offers innovative exercises that provide training in the real-time technique, including physical exercises that help the actor become truly present in performance. Acting in Real Time also includes a broad overview of the history of acting and realism's relationship to the history of theater architecture, offering real-time theater as an alternative. The book will appeal to actors and acting students, directors, stage designers, costume designers, lighting designers, theater historians, and dramaturgs.
The attempt at simple revenge, even after the positive proof of Claudius' guilt at the play, makes Hamlet, like Romeo and Laertes, subject to the law of unintended consequences.
This connects with Richard Jackson's judgement of the play as Wilde commonly engaged with society and mocked it's forms through the mirroring of characters.