Posts Tagged ‘ Hamlet ’

Essay: Hamlet and Finding the Reality in Ecstasy

By Katherine Christians

This essay was written for Tri-City Prep’s College Composition 102 class.

The protagonist’s father appeared before him; ashen and dressed for battle. The form of his hulking parent is transparent enough to grant him the ability to see the trees behind the once-living man. The ghost of his father tells the harrowing tale of his death to his son; one not of natural causes; but of murder. The son is left alone, bloodless and shaking, with one task: to avenge his father’s death. Though the dramatic air to this moment is admirable, the fact that a ghost appeared to tell his son of it’s murder; is questionable, to say the least. If someone assaulted someone else and then proceeded to tell the jury that they did so because a ghost told them to, their sanity would most likely be questioned. But when such a thing happened in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the audience seemed to have no qualms believing in the actions of a madman.

The Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, is the story of a young man who’s father just died, and an uncle who stole his throne. Wrought with anger and confusion, Hamlet is told, by the ghost of his father, that his uncle, the new king, was his murderer. Bent on getting revenge for his father’s wrongful death, Hamlet “pretends” to be corrupted with ecstasy; or madness. As the play progresses, Hamlet’s actions, and sanity, grow more questionable; until, finally, Hamlet’s deranged activities lead to the death of his uncle, mother, peer, and himself. The question that haunts the audience during the play is: was Hamlet truly mad, or was he just pretending? Continue reading

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Get your Hamlet Fix: A Review of the National Theatre Live Play

By Natalie Krafft

On Thursday, November 5, the National Theatre Live broadcasted its showing of Hamlet all across the world, entertaining thousands of Shakespeare lovers. Yavapai College offered a showing.

Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragic plays. It is centered around the title character Hamlet, whose father, the King of Denmark, has died by the start of the play. Hamlet’s mother marries his uncle in less than two months after the king’s death. Later on, a couple of guards come to Hamlet reporting a ghost that looks like it’s the dead king; when Hamlet goes to investigate, he finds out that it really is the spirit of his father and that the king had been murdered by Hamlet’s uncle. Hamlet sets off to avenge his father’s death while going slowly mad.

This Hamlet, directed by Lyndsey Turner, was given a new retro feel. At one point, young Hamlet wears a David Bowie t-shirt and another character uses a film camera. Benedict Cumberbatch, known for his roles as Sherlock in BBC’s Sherlock and as Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness, plays the main character, Hamlet. Cierán Hinds, who played Fin MvGovern in The Road to Perdition, plays the murderous uncle, King Claudius. Leo Bill plays Horatio, the character who ultimately kills Hamlet. Antastasia Hille portrays Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, and Sian Brooke takes the role of Ophelia. Many other brilliant actors and actresses help to make this 400 year old play come to life. Continue reading

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