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Transcript of Hamlet
The Political Story
Denmark: Once a great empire
Norway: Also a great empire
In Act I: What is the political situation between the two countries?
The Tragedy of
Prince of Denmark
Angry at mother
King of Denmark
The dead returning?
Why is he here?
Is it political?
Is it personal?
Prince of Norway
Think of him like...
Claudius, making young Fortinbras into Hamlet
Son of Polonius
Disappears until the end of IV
Talks too much
Never says anything
Daughter of Polonius
"TO BE OR NOT TO BE...
THAT IS THE QUESTION."
The Royal Court
Mono + Archy
"Rule by one individual"
Denmark is an Elected Monarchy:
Election by a moot.
Why isn't Hamlet King?
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Hamlet's friends from childhood
Are they still friends?
What are their motives?
Are they villains?
The Globe Theater
Held 3,000 people
Often mentioned in plays
Very few directions
The Rules of Interpreting Shakespeare
1. You can delete scenes
2. You can delete characters
3. You can delete entire acts
4. You can add silent characters
5. You can even take lines and give them to other characters.
6. Give it whatever setting you want (especially comedies)
7. You CANNOT add your own lines.
Married to Hamlet's Mother
Aristotle's Classical Unities:
The unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots.
The unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
The unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.
Shakespeare breaks all rules.
Tried to follow this rule:
If you walk off stage at the end of a scene, you can't walk back on at the beginning of the next scene.
The Rule about Walking Off Stage
Before we get to the main story,
here's the story no one ever gets
The Danish Royal Family
The king's new wife
How smart is she?