HAMLET’S “TABLES” 1 – (Spoiler Aler: LOW)

by Hamlet on October 31, 2011

Hello fellow Danes! This is my Hamlet Blog. I’ve been writing down my thoughts on process since we decided to go ahead with it. There are some parts that are almost short hand while others are a little more didactic (which could make for some bumpy reading), though I’ve tried to smooth it out as much as possible without compromising the immediacy. Thanks for reading!

Sept 15– I continued reading the introduction to the new Arden edit. Learned about famous points from historic productions: tipping the chair when seeing the ghost with Gertrude, crawling across the stage during the Mousetrap. I might work some of these in. The list of amazing performers who have come before is staggering and inspiring. I hope one day to be included in this catalogue of capability.

General Thoughts:

I’ve started considering Hamlet at the beginning of the play; his rage and grief are sublimated in the beginning because he has no outlet for them; maybe he hated his father, but now feels guilt and/or obligation: perhaps he never really got to know him, and only now, during his time away from the court, has come to think of him as a man and as a King; perhaps it isn’t the death of his father at all, but the circumstances surrounding it (mysterious death, his mother remarrying, his uncle assuming the throne etc) that incite his melancholy, and he merely conflates all of these things that he can’t quite identify into a despair over his father and resentment towards his mother. Until he encounters the ghost, he has nowhere to direct his grief; though, after receiving his mission from the Ghost (wherein all his suspicions are confirmed) perhaps his melancholy mutates into a rage that was merely incubating before. And now that his wrath is awakened, so are suspicions: Purgatory, from whence the Ghost claims to come, does not exist in Hamlet’s world view, thus the Danish Prince is doubly stupefied. This ghost is either a devil, or Hamlet’s perspective on the world is incorrect. He spends a considerable amount of time searching for evidence to justify the apparition’s charges, and even as his arm is raised and the blade is ready to drop upon Claudius – just as Pyrrhus in the player King’s monologue – he must first be sure that his revenge is just, for while he is a warrior, he is also preoccupied with behaving justly. Everyone seems to think that Hamlet lacks the push and the will to see the deed through: I’m going to make it my personal mission to illustrate that Hamlet is not one to procrastinate or delay. He is a scholar and a warrior and a courtier, and is concerned with right action. More on this as I get to work.



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