Thursday, March 6, 2008

Act 3 Scene 1 Hamlet's Soliloquy (Laurence Olivier)

30 comments:

Jessica F. 6 said...

Act 3:1 Hamlet’s Soliloquy


After viewing the three videos very closely, the first video by Laurence Olivier was the best interpretation of the famous soliloquy because of these three elements, the setting, the actor and the dramatic effects and music. When you first view the video it is black and white and has very loud and old sounding music. The actor is sitting on a rock at the edge of a cliff overseeing the sea. Their presentation best represented what the soliloquy meant and how I portrayed what Hamlet was trying to tell the audience.

The video began with a shot of the sea with very high tides and the video was black and white. Then the camera looks down on Hamlet’s head and get a close up and the scene gets dark and then the camera returns to the sea and has a subtle fade in and fade out of what looks to be a human brain. Then they have another close up of Hamlet, the front of his head, focusing mainly on his forehead and his eyes. Hamlet then begins with “To be, or not to be, that is the question” (Line 55) the camera begins with a close up of the upper part of his head and then fade out with the sea again. Once they return to Hamlet, I noticed he was breathing in and breathing out very deeply. The director chose to place Hamlet on a rock that is located on a cliff over looking the sea. Once he stops deep breathing Hamlet looks down at the sea in desperation and fear.

The dramatic effects and music added to the desperate thoughts and confusion Hamlet had about his life. For example before he began to speak the music had very scary and loud high pitch tones. Hamlet ironically in the soliloquy uses the phrase “Or take arms against a sea of troubles” (Line 58) to symbolically compare what he feels about his life. His troubles are all like “a sea of troubles” which is what he exactly surrounded by the sea. The image of the brain in the sea may have been a symbol of what Hamlet is feeling, he is feeling like all the troubles he has are in his head and there are so many that he can’t handle them all because they are like high tides that are hitting with all their force against the rocks or symbolically are slowly affecting Hamlet’s thinking and causing him to contemplate his own life. Then Hamlet says “To die, to sleep- No more, and by sleep to say we end” (Lines 59-60) this part in his soliloquy is very important because Hamlet talks about how he has been thinking about death and whether or not he should die because of he went to “sleep” forever he would be able to end all his troubles. Hamlet is having suicidal thoughts and he believes that he should die so he can end all the troubles he has, when he took out the dagger he had in his pants he points it toward himself almost like if he were going to stab himself. Hamlet’s physical appearance also played a role in the interpretation of the passage.

For example the actor that was playing Hamlet looked very young, had short light blond hair, and was wearing a white long sleeve shirt with a black vest and black pants. His clothes were very baggy, they were very messed up because his shirt was untied and his vest was unbuttoned, which did not seem like proper dress for a prince. When the speaker spoke he was not happy, or angry, he was more confused, in a daze and unbashed by anything it seemed. Once the actor was speaking on his rock about “death” right after that word was said he closed his eyes and had his face placed as if it were looking down into the sea. As Hamlet continues about “sleep” the actor is no longer speaking there is a voice over because I think that simple effect was to demonstrate to the audience that Hamlet was speaking to himself about his life and the deep sleep he so longs for in his mind. I think that the effect also is to show the audience that he was literally falling asleep. The hamlet repeats “To sleep, perchance to dream-“ (Line 64) and when he said that Hamlet “wakes up” startled and almost like if he were really sleeping on this cliff and he lays back on the rock and continues his soliloquy. Hamlet then says, “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” (Lines 65-66). What Hamlet means in that excerpt is he s wondering if in his death-sleep would still allow him to have dreams and free himself from all the turmoil in his life. Hamlet when saying those few sentences is relaxed and basically asking himself these questions and wondering what he should do with his life. The mortal life that he views about himself is so bad that it has made him want to end it and enter that world of eternal sleep. At the end of the soliloquy he says “ Than flys to other that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards [of us all],” (Lines 81-82) what Hamlet’s actor does before he says this is he drops the dagger that was in his hands in the sea and talks about how he should go forth to the people he does not know and confront them. The emotions and character of Hamlet change, he is stronger and as he is standing he looks up not down which is a sign that he chooses to become stronger and face people. His “conscience” or thoughts cause him to become a coward and restrain him from facing his fears. Hamlet realizes that his thoughts are weakening him and he gains the strength he needs and heads off into the fog where he then disappears, the music used for his farewell was the same one played at the beginning but it was deeper and it gave the effect that Hamlet is going to become vengeful for his troubles.

Overall, the setting, the actor and the dramatic effects gave the audience the true meaning to how Hamlet viewed his life and what the passage was really about. I think that the video was the best video that portrayed the famous soliloquy in Act 3. The effects gave a deeper meaning to the passage and gave me a better interpretation of the passage. While I read along with the actor I could understand what the character was feeling and why the director chose the setting for the passage, the setting was a symbol of what Hamlet was feeling; his thoughts were like the sea. The video’s interpretation gave me a guideline as to what kind of a character Hamlet really is and that is why I enjoyed analyzing and watching the video.

Katie S6 said...
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Katie S6 said...

Hamlet Act 3:1 Soliloquy

Laurence Oliver’s video on Hamlet’s Soliloquy in Act3:1 was the best of the three videos displayed. Even though the film was very old and in black and white it’s as if Oliver directed it trying to achieve that effect. The clip starts out captivating with the sound the ocean playing in the background as the camera does a landscape shot and then zooms in to focus on our actor, Hamlet, about make his most famous speech.

Just as Hamlet is about to speak, the background music becomes very suspenseful, pulling the audience in even more into the story before it has even begun. “To be, or not to be, that is the question. (line55)” Hamlet ponders this as the mist and clouds roll into the foreground as Hamlet sits alone on a rock, delivering his speech. Deep in the thought, the actor ponders this idea of to be or not to be. Hamlet is saying whether one should live or not to live, but also to take action or not to take action. This idea leads us through the entire soliloquy with Hamlet stuck between this idea of taking action which can lead to death or not taking action but dying anyways. “Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them. (58-59)” Laurence really uses this line to set the scene, using the ocean waves to show exactly the kind of trouble he is talking about during his soliloquy.

Laurence then brings a dagger into the scene, creating more tension then before. “To die, to sleep, perchance to dream –ay, there’s the rub, for in sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off. (63-66)” The camera focus’s only on Hamlet during this part of the soliloquy, to really focus on the seriousness Hamlet presents. He is talking about this idea of dreams which he brings up throughout the entire play. Hamlet describes dreams as a rub, an obstacle, which he has a hard time trying to get past as the play progresses. He then wonders what dreams would come from permanent sleep, when our soul leaves our trapped body and moves on. Still focused on Hamlet he states, “Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of th’unworthy takes when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin. (70-75)” Hamlet is saying that the opposing force insults the proud man, and to feel the loss of love, the pathetic rulers who delay off lawful rights will soon be gone along with the effects of all these unworthy causes, they will end at with a mere dagger. Laurence uses the dagger to really enhance the scene and to show Hamlet’s characterization during this part of the act. When Hamlet closes his eyes, his speech still continuing, it shows just how deep in thought he really is. It shows that he is serious about taking action, which foreshadows the climax of the play soon to come.

Dark clouds roll into the scene as Hamlet moves from his rock for the first time to keep speaking. “But that the dread of something after death, the undiscover’d country from whose bourn no travelers returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of? (lines77-81)” Death is brought up numerous times during his soliloquy. It could foreshadow not only the death of Claudius but also the death of Hamlet. He speaks of death with such knowledge to as if he has experienced it already, but at the same time knowing he has yet too, it frightens him which is why he struggles about killing Claudius. He states now that when one dies, it’s dreadful not knowing exactly where one might end up, whether it’s in Hades or up in Heaven. With no knowledge of these foreign places it completely baffles him and instead death holds him to all his faults he has experienced in life and then determines the right spot for him. Hamlet in the movie then brings his dagger closer and closer to where his mind is held and continues with his speech. “Thus conscience does make cowards [of us all], and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of great pitch and moment, with this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action. (82-87)” Hamlet keeps with this idea about how humans act when determining their after life fate. He states that one’s conscience will always make one look scared, because everyone is scared of death, it’s only natural. When one underestimates their fear and achieves for something higher they will fall and lose the action they waited for. And that ends his speech however the actor walks toward the cliff and looks over the ocean and then descends down stairs and ends the scene. It looks almost as if he is walking into Hades himself, he has decided to take action and kill for revenge. It’s ironic because Hamlet acts and speaks knowing he is afraid of what comes during the after life. It’s as if he knows he is going to die soon, its going to be over. Laurence really captures that fear as he walks into his hell, and that’s why it was the best out of the three.

Ricki L5 said...
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Ricki L5 said...

In Act 3 Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the character Hamlet enters alone, speaking to himself before Ophelia enters. The famous soliloquy, beginning with the line “To be, or not to be, that is the question” has been portrayed in several variations from theatre to the movies. One particular portrayal of the scene comes from actor Laurence Olivier in the 1948 film Hamlet, in which symbols, imagery, setting, camera effects, and the actor’s role incorporate a deep meaning and true understanding to the soliloquy.

Special effects in use with the camera, the scenery, and other added effects not featured in the soliloquy add effectively bring meaning to the scene. The scene begins with a view of an ocean with the waves crashing against the sides of a castle, in which the viewer sees Hamlet sitting atop peering down at the sea several feet below. The camera then zooms in on the back of Hamlet’s head, in which the scenery changes as if the viewer can see inside his mind. Vague images appear, along with the crashing waves. This captures Hamlet’s deep thoughts on whether to commit suicide or live. The setting of the scene is symbolic and ideal for this particular part of the play. The ocean below symbolizes “…the sea of troubles” (Line 58) Hamlet feels that all human beings experience. Staring down at the sea from afar, Hamlet is thrown into a trance. After seemingly reconsidering, Hamlet begins to leave his perch, and discontinues staring into “the sea”. He concludes how all people with thoughts of ending pain do not fall through since they do not know what will come in the afterlife: “But that the dread of something after death…Than fly to others we know not of?” (Lines 77, 81). Hamlet walks away from the sea in the scene while saying “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all…With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action” (Lines 82, 86, 87). The “currents” once again referring to “the sea of troubles” in which Hamlet walks away from in this version of the soliloquy.

The music score also plays an important role of portraying the soliloquy. The music becomes subtle, as Hamlet is deep in thought. The music then intensifies when Hamlet snaps back into reality. The music creates the “mood” while Hamlet drifts from his mind and reality, thus a perfect addition to the meaning of the soliloquy.

Other effective techniques are used for this particular scene. One method is the use of props. The moment Hamlet says “Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them”, he takes out a dagger, a literal but effective approach to his thoughts. This exaggerates Hamlet’s contemplations as he slowly brings the dagger closer to his body, only to take it away moments later. Another technique used to portray the scene is the actor and his actions. He is first noticed sitting atop a tower, emphasizing solitude while staring at a watery abyss below. He seems to be lost in thought moments later when he continues speaking about ending life “To sleep” instead of bearing the natural sufferings as a mortal being experiences in life. The trance-like state the actor composes emphasizes the serious thought and consideration Hamlet has about “sleeping”. This trance ends with “perchance to dream” and he continues. The actor speaks slowly as Hamlet, since the soliloquy involves the matter of suicide, a deep subject one would hope others like Hamlet to consider with deep thought. The actor playing Hamlet exists as he leaves the rooftop and the sea behind.

In conclusion Laurence Olivier’s film and acting role effectively and efficiently portrays the famous Act 3 Scene 1 soliloquy.
The music, film components, and acting role proves superior to other attempts because of several outstanding qualities that bring forth the meaning of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Ronald d5 said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy in act 3 scene 1 as portrayed by Laurence Olivier delivers the best interpretations of Hamlet’s lines. The elements the director included in this clip made this piece in my opinion a masterpiece of what Hamlet wanted to express. The lack of color, symbolic scenery, the camera effects and actor’s movement make this piece the best of the three pieces available.

When the soliloquy opens, the age of the clip is made clear through the lack of color of the film. Even so, the black and white adds a flare that helps add depth and thought to the delivery of the lines. The lack of color creates the effect of narrowing the view to the one that Hamlet wants the viewer to see. The color in the clip is either white or black. This adds depth to the viewers’ thoughts as he is listening to the lines. This aids Hamlet in expressing the “native hue of resolution.” If there were color in this picture, the colors would create mood and certain feelings that could draw the viewer away from the point and interpret the soliloquy differently than it was supposed to be interpreted.

The background and scenery set up for this clip is perfect in unison with the delivery of the lines. The opening with the scene of the ferocious waves of the waters corresponds with “a sea of troubles” (line 58) that Hamlet is not sure to oppose or not. Just the way the waves are beating against the rocky base of the cliff add strength and vigor to Hamlet’s words. Also the water is symbolic for Hamlets life and the waves are what is happening to his life. The madness and chaos of the waves symbolize all the problems Hamlet is facing around him such as his father’s death, his mother’s infidelity, and his relationship with Ophelia.

The camera effects add to the delivery of the lines with the timing and the effects. As Hamlet speaks his deep and depressing lines, “To be, or not to be” (line 55) the screen comes out of focus and in focus repeatedly. This effect creates the idea “to sleep, perchance dream” (line 64) in the viewers mind as he listens to the lines. This creates a surreal or dream like feeling to the words. Then with that, it creates depth and thought in the words because dreams can be interpreted any way a person sees it and this effect makes the viewer see these lines in that light. The play with the focus can also give the viewer a feeling of death or loss of consciousness. Again it creates a feeling of surrealism. Then the zoom of the camera when Hamlet delivers lines 63-65 creates suspense and melodrama within the viewer. This suspense and melodrama keep the viewer interested in the lines because since the color is in black and white, it makes the clip boring because there are not many interpretations a person can extract from the lines. The camera effects work almost like a hook in a song.

Laurence Olivier’s version of Hamlet’s Soliloquy in act 3 scene 1 is the best because it stands out from the other two clips. It uses elements from the environment to go unison with the words, the lack of color to create a narrower view, and camera effects that keep the viewer interested in the clip.

Shuyi G 6 said...
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Shuyi G 6 said...

The first version of Hamlet’s soliloquy best interprets his soliloquy in Act 3, Scene1. The film maker Laurence Olivier successfully delivers Hamlet’s emotions and his feelings deep in heart. He does this through the setting, actor’s facial expression, actions and his tone when speaking the lines in Hamlet’s soliloquy.

In the video, the camera first showed us to the waves of the sea. The waves were huge and turbulent. They represent Hamlet’s agitated feelings and great agonies. The camera then slowly moved downward to show the actor’s head and shoulders. It focused on the actor’s head by moving itself toward the center of his head. The screen was finally blackened once the camera was almost touching the actor’s head. The focusing on the actor’s head reveals the significance of Hamlet’ thinking and life, because the head is usually the body part that’s used to think and to keep the other body parts functioning. The camera soon showed the waves again, and this time it combines the waves and the actor’s eyes to create a picture that has the waves to be the actor’s forehead. Olivier refers to the madness of Hamlet’s mind when he replaces actor’s forehead with the waves. Also, at this very moment, the actor starts the first line of Hamlet’s soliloquy: “To be or not to be” (line 55) which is a question that asks “Is it better to be alive or dead?”

Later, the camera showed us the actor’s entire body with the pose that he was sitting on the rock and looking down to the sea. The actor is sitting on the rock that is above the sea because Hamlet wanted to fight “against a sea of troubles” (line 58) Soon the actor starts performing again Hamlet’s soliloquy as he tilts his head up. When the actor reached to the words “end them” (line 59) following “And by opposing” (line 59), he took out his dagger and held it toward himself. This is symbolizing Hamlet’s impulse to simply kill himself. Because Hamlet does not want to “suffer” (line 56) or “submit [himself] to” the “outrageous fortune” (line 57), he confirms himself that he has to fight against “troubles” (line 58) by putting him “to die, to sleep” (line 59) The actor then closed his eyes and listened to the background voice speaking the lines “To die, to sleep - no more, and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache..‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d.” (Line 59-63) Hamlet wished to just die here. However, Hamlet abandoned his thoughts on suicide when he says “perchance to dream” (line 64), he reminds himself that he has a dream as to revolt the power of the king. The actor suddenly put down his dagger and looked scared at the thought of dying. He then switched his facial expression of being scared to being disappointed, since Hamlet knows that dying might not grant dreams and one wouldn’t know what would happen to his dream. Hamlet despairingly says “ay, there's the rub” (line 64) or “obstacle”, because “in that sleep of death [we don’t know] what dreams may come.” (Line 65) Hamlet concludes that this “obstacle” or dream is what “makes calamity of so long life” (line68) or makes us to live so long to suffer.

Hamlet then explains the benefits of death that no one would have to bear with the sufferings in earth such as the “whips and the scorns” (line 59) anymore. No matter if it is “the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely [or rudeness], the pangs of despis’d love…” no one would any longer bother himself since he can just simply take out his “bodkin” (line 75) or dagger to end his life. At this moment, the actor took out his dagger and slowly pointed it toward himself, because Hamlet has the intention to kill himself again. However Hamlet gives up his intention of suicide when he thinks of “the dread after death” (line 77), and the actor turned the direction of his dagger and sat up when he begins the line: “who would fardels bear to grunt… but that the dread of something after death”. Hamlet fears to die because he can not face the torture in hell or imagine himself suffering the same pain he father suffers. He believes that this is the cause for so many of us, including him to choose to “grunt” and “sweat” (line 76) through the tiresome lives. The actor then looked serious when he was looking at the camera to speak the line “The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns”. (Line 79- 81) Hamlet is referring “The undiscovered country” to hell. He seriously emphasizes the mystery and horror of hell when he addresses it as a country with “no traveler returns”. The fear of hell demeans Hamlet’s courage to die; Hamlet has to keep enduring “the ills” (line 81) or burdens in life, than to “fly to others” (line 81) or the burdens after death that “[he] know not of?” (Line 81) Hamlet feels frustrated that he cannot die yet. And at this moment, the actor then turned his head to his left to be looked depressed. He also dropped his dagger into the sea, which is an action to prevent suicide. Olivier brilliantly created this imagery because Hamlet has no more intention to kill himself in this soliloquy.

Toward the end, the actor grievingly delivers the lines “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (line 82). He turned his body to his right to not show his entire face as he says the word “coward”. The actor is expressing Hamlet’s fear to be seen through his cowardice. In fact, Hamlet is frustrated at himself for not bravely killing himself. He is unsatisfied that he has neither ended his life nor accomplished anything. Nevertheless, “conscience” (line 82) is what Hamlet blames on for his cowardice. It means the “reflection” or knowledge of what would happen; Hamlet knows about the terrifying hell from his father’s ghost. He also blames on the “thoughts” (line 84) or thinking of hell to be weakening his “native hue” (line 83) or “natural (ruddy)” bravery. Hamlet concludes that knowing and thinking about hell lessened his courage. By this time, the actor walked over to the brink and delivered the line “with this regard their currents turn awry” (line 86) which means that people courage would diminish. Olivier creates an imagery when the actor turned away from his left exactly at the words “turn awry” and another imagery when the actor walked toward the background as he delivers the last line “and lose the name of action”. (Line 87) According to the last line, Hamlet is “losing” his passion or ability to pursue actions; he cannot accomplish his dream as to get revenge and at the same time end his life. Thus, the actor’s walking to the background cooperates with the meaning of the last line.

Overall, Olivier’s version best interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy from Act 3, scene 1. Olivier cleverly matched his setting and the actor’s tone, facial expressions and actions with Hamlet’s mood in his soliloquy. He deserves to have his version standing out to be distinguished.

Amy H 6 said...
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Amy H 6 said...
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Amy H 6 said...

After closely viewing all three soliloquies, I concluded that the first one, by Laurence Olivier is the best soliloquy. Through use of color effect, sound effect, scenery, and how the lines are said, this one clearly dominates the others in performance, skills, and accuracy.

The clip of the soliloquy first starts off a close view of the ocean. Then Hamlet's head quickly comes into the clip. I believe showing Hamlet's head and the sea at the same time shows the connection of how Hamlet's mind process. The sea is a symbol of madness and insanity, much like Hamlet's brain. In the very beginning of the clip, the camera zooms in on Hamlet's brain. The video zooms in right to the core of the brain. There appears to be some sort of liquid in Hamlet's brain, which I interrupted it to the sea. The sea, as I say again is a good representation of how Hamlet's mind is. Hamlet believes that mind is free and powerful, but the mind as Hamlet sees it is also condemned to the body.

In the beginning of the soliloquy, Hamlet recites "to die, to sleep" his voice is very faint. He appears to have grown weaker and can't hold himself up any longer and the camera zooms in on his weariness. Also, another thing I noticed is that he draws out a knife, a very small one. He takes the knife out just a little bit before saying "to die, to sleep". There is a very thick fog behind Hamlet. I think the fog symbolizes the fogginess of Hamlet's character. The fog symbolizes confusion, lost of mind, and many other things. And this is interesting because the fog appears in the whole clip, but it is mostly dense around the time when Hamlet recites these lines. Since I believe that the fog is a symbol of confusion, I believe when Hamlet recites these lines is the time when he is most confused. Also, I found it interesting that "to die, to sleep" is repeated again. The second time when the lines are repeated, the camera zooms in on Hamlet's head. The second time Hamlet recites the lines; I believe he is being more serious.

Hamlet takes a fall to his elbows after he recites "perchance to dream-", I believe he falls to his elbow because dreaming for him is hopeless. What could he dream for? He lost his father; people think he is crazy, his mother betrayed his father and him to his uncle, Claudius. These lines "perchance to dream", I believe this is Hamlet's breaking point. This is the time when he realizes that he has close to nothing. Dreaming is something out of reach for Hamlet. Also, there is a sudden change of music. Before he says these lines, there is a sad type of music, after; there are sounds of waves in the background. This, I believe is symbolic. The sound of the waves brings the scene back to the very beginning of the clip, when Hamlet is looking down at the ocean and deciding whether he should jump off not.

“The pangs of despis’d love” when Hamlet said this, he looks around as well. Why does he do this though? It is because he knows he has no love. Nobody loves him. The only person who did love him is gone now, and that is his father. Instead of people loving Hamlet, people think he is crazy. Nobody loves Hamlet, and this is the reason why he feels the need to look behind him when he says the word “love”.

At the end of the clip, I believe Hamlet is walking towards his faith. I believe this because sad, mourning music is being played and his head is down. He slowly disappears behind the fog and slowly walks towards the cliff and down the steps, his destiny. He is not longer the center of the clip; instead, he is just a mere image. His importance is not worthy anymore.

Out of a three soliloquies, Oliver’s was the best. There was a lot of accuracy in tone and scenes. Lines were not cut out and the soliloquy did not sound like a speech, unlike the others. The delivery of the lines, scene, camera effects and sound effects is what made this soliloquy triumph over the other ones.

Alexander A.6 said...

Hamlet Soliloquy (Laurence Olivier)

In the 1948 version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, Sir Laurence Olivier captures the heart and soul of the title character during his famous soliloquy while often not even talking. As an established actor of the twentieth century, Olivier has had a variety of roles that portray him as a tragic hero, Spartacus and Othello come to mind, that accurately prepare him for the role of importance. It is his seemingly fluent understanding of Hamlet’s importance and eloquence in his soliloquy.

To open the scene, there is a rustle of waves that hit up against the stones upon which Hamlet graces to set up for an opportune setting later in the scene. Olivier captures the tone and emotion that Hamlet is experiencing as he begins his speech. “To be or not to be, that is the question,” (line 55) implicates that Hamlet is at a standstill because he does not know whether there is an ultimate goal to the existence given his own situation. What is being questioned can be clarified in lines 56-59, “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer….Or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.” The ultimate debate is whether Hamlet should use the “arms against his sea of troubles” in order to act swiftly to King Claudius or rather to suffer from guilt. The setting proves to be all too fitting in context to the play as the ocean waves are attacking the shore an image that represents the crisis Hamlet endures. It is important to note that Hamlet at this time is still in a state of depression over not being able to cope with his father’s death and Olivier does an accurate job of portraying doubt and how Hamlet should feel about the revelry Denmark has to endure.

In a more philosophical approach, Hamlet uses the lines, “To die, to sleep” (58,63) repetitively in order to branch off of the emotions he looks to pass off during his soliloquy. “in that sleep of death what dreams may come,” implies a feeling that if death is but a prolonged moment of silence and vacancy of the mind, or a clean slate. The act of death may be an entrance way to the cleansing of these evil thoughts. Hamlet further prolongs the feelings of suicide by “bearing those ills we have, than to fly to others that we know not of,” (80-81) acting as if we are cowards for considering the notion of suicide.

The scene within the play is a representation of the most literal form of a soliloquy in which he is all to himself. While in the play he is still surrounded by Ophelia, Hamlet is assessing his thoughts all by himself. The interpretation of the speech leaves the viewer to a mystery, is this scene really at the seashore or is this occurring in the actual mind of Hamlet. At this point in the play, the readers much like the characters are not sure whether or not Hamlet is going insane or faking. By the acted, or overacted, version of the speech it appears he is still insane, but is conflicted with all these unfortunate images of suicide and the “undiscover’d country” (78) of the post-life.

Though there are a few inaccuracies in the scene, the portrayal is stunning in the capturing of emotions. What is lost in text is realized in thoroughness of acting. Olivier’s version relies more on the lack of a special effect element and by using a natural setting creates a deeper meaning.

Meaghan S6 said...

The Laurence Olivier version of Hamlet gives the best interpretation of Hamlet’s soliloquy from Act 3 Scene 1. On the whole, Olivier, the cliff-side setting, the climactic music, and the darkness of the set best portray Hamlet’s inner struggles between life and death.
The soliloquy begins with the roaring of the dark sea from the top of a cliff and Hamlet looking down onto the ocean from atop the cliff. Hamlet is at a very rough point in his life, so the sea represents the turbulence and turmoil he is battling through. The music swells in intensity, and the camera zooms all the way into the top of Hamlet’s head until the screen goes black. It is almost as if the camera delves straight into the mind of Hamlet in order to better understand his inner feelings that proceed in his soliloquy. Then, in a blur, the scene of the ocean returns as Hamlet recites the famous line “to be, or not to be, that is the question” (3.1.55). The blurriness of the view emphasizes Hamlet’s feeling of disillusionment because his mind is swarming with mixed emotions. He does not know if it is “nobler in the mid to suffer” (3.1.56) or “to take arms against a sea of troubles” (3.1.58). The reference to his troubles as a sea fits right in with the image of the raging sea.
As he concludes with the phrase “end them [troubles],” (3.1.59) he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a dagger, indicating his possible thoughts of suicide. He cannot decide whether or not he should “die” (3.1.59) or “sleep” (3.1.59), because each has its own way of ending the troubles he has in his life. During this section of the soliloquy, Hamlet does not physically recite the lines; rather, he strains his face as though he is thinking very hard and as he is thinking, a voiceover reads the lines. This is extremely effective because Hamlet is struggling so deeply within himself that it flows nicely coming from in his mind rather than being recited out loud. He then returns to recitation with the phrase, “perchance to dream” (3.1.64) and with it, he is snapped back to reality from the trance-like state he was previously in. He continues with a slow paced tone, but softens his voice at the mention of “the pangs of despis’d love,” (3.1.71) which shows that he’s probably referencing his love for Ophelia that no one else seems to agree with. The softened tone indicates the feelings of emotion and affection he has for her.
The next transition occurs when Hamlet mentions the “bare bodkin” (3.1.75) and at this line, pulls out a dagger from his pocket. He uses this line and reference to the dagger as one possible pathway out of his conflicting emotions: death. Hamlet then, as a result, toils again with the contrast between life and death. He realizes that what lies beyond death is “undiscover’d country” (3.1.78) that no one can understand ad one that “no traveler returns [from]” (3.1.79). Because humans cannot understand what lies beyond a mortal life, a person “would rather bear those ills” (3.1.80) than end their lives and enter into the mystery of the afterlife. Hamlet’s tone during these lines is also soft and subtle, indicating that Hamlet is intimidated and fearful of death, even though he sees it as an option or way to get out of the struggles and conflicts he faces in his life.
Hamlet then concludes his soliloquy as he stands up and walks around, looking over the edge of the cliff. He describes that the “currents” (3.1.86) of life “turn awry” (3.1.86) as he looks down at the sea, which ties into the reference to his thoughts as a rough ocean. His wandering hints that he feels lost and confused, unsure of which way to go. Clearly, his mind has been swayed because he realizes that taking his own life will not improve the quality of his life or the events in his life. As he finishes his line, he walks off into the fog with the music swelling around him, indicating that he is off to ponder his new thoughts. The film is black and white, so it is often hard to distinguish darkness from grey, but the shadows in the background of Hamlet hint that the scene is meant to be darker than normal to show that he is still shrouded with doubt, despair and unsure thoughts.

gangsta. said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1as portrayed by Laurence Olivier is the best out of the three videos with how it delivers Hamlet‘s interpretations. The elements that the director use in this clip portray exactly how Hamlet would have acted perfectly. Everything from the camera angles, color and lighting, symbolic scenery, and actor’s movement make this piece much more entertaining and realistic than the other videos.

In the video the camera starts out with showing us the ocean. The massive waves seem to be uncontrollable and unpredictable. They represent Hamlet’s agitated feelings and everything going on inside of him. In addition, Hamlet says, “to take arm against a sea of troubles” (line 58), which compares the sea to his feelings. The sea is compared to the vast amount of problems that Hamlet is going through. Moreover, everyone thinks Hamlet is a lunatic and is crazy. Lunatic literally means possessed by the moon and the moon controls the turbulence of the ocean which is a perfect connection to how Hamlet is. Afterwards, we see Hamlet sitting on a rock. In the background is dark clouds which embrace the confusion and melancholy that Hamlet is going through. In addition, the way Hamlet is sitting doesn’t seem like he is comfortable at all which shows the distortion that Hamlet is going through. The black and white colors add depth and gets you to focus more on Hamlet and his words rather than what is going on in the background. Also, the colors add to the current mood of what is going on in the video which is to be portrayed as melancholy and confusion.

As the film progresses, we see the camera zoom in at Hamlet’s forehead into an extreme close-up from a medium shot to portray how disoriented Hamlet is from the sweat dripping down from his forehead. Hamlet says “To die, to sleep- No more, and by sleep to say we end” (lines 59-60), which is very essential as it explains the feelings Hamlet has about how he has been thinking about death and whether or not he should die because of he went to “sleep” forever he would be able to end all his troubles. The scenery and deliverance of lines is in unison to what Hamlet I saying and doing. As he says that line, he also takes out a knife and plays with it as if he were to stab himself with it. However, in a sudden movement, the actor suddenly put down his dagger and switches his facial expression of being scared to being disappointed, since Hamlet knows that dying might not grant the dreams he wishes to come. Hamlet then says “in that sleep of death [we don’t know] what dreams may come.” (line 65). The acting and lines in this video work perfectly together to deliver the message of what Hamlet is trying to get across about his troubles and confusion about everything going on around him.

As the video comes to an end, the actor delivers the lines “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” (line 82), as he tails away from the camera and walking away into a fog. The fog represents how Hamlet is lost and doesn’t know where he is going but is trying to make things inside his head make sense. Hamlet keeps with this idea about how humans act when determining their fate after dying; stating things about one’s conscience will always make one look scared, because everyone is scared of death. Hamlet realizes that his thoughts are weakening him and that is when he begins to walk into the fog.

Laurence Olivier’s video portrays Hamlet’s soliloquy perfectly with every single detail that he puts into the video to make the audience understand the deeper meaning of Hamlet’s obstacles. The details gave a much clearer interpretation about everything going on. From every camera shot and color/lighting arrangements, to the perfect acting that went along with the lines that the actor was saying, this video made it much more interesting and easier to understand than any of the other videos.

Kevin said...

Prince Hamlet gives one of the most famous soliloquies in literature in Act 3, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He enters and speaks to himself and the audience, supposedly unaware that Claudius and Polonius are spying on him. The soliloquy performed by Laurence Olivier in the 1948 adaptation is perhaps the best portrayal of Hamlet’s speech. Olivier’s subtle depictions of Hamlet’s character and the imagery surrounding him combine to give life to Shakespeare’s words.

Produced before the widespread use of color, the film is in black and white, giving the scene a more serious and grave tone. The audience first witnesses a vast grey ocean, full of white sloshing foam. As the camera pans down this “sea of troubles”(58), dramatic orchestral music is played, creating a tense feeling, a premonition or a “before the storm” aura. The sea’s waves crash onto a precipice, on which Olivier stands at the top, glancing at the bottom. Hamlet’s soliloquy implies suicide and death, fitting the scene of the movie, as Olivier delivers his lines perched on the precipice. As if being controlled by his character’s maddening subconscious, Olivier expresses the well-known “To be, or not to be, that is the question”(55) while blurred vision of the bottom of the precipice is shown. The line basically states whether one should live or not, alluding to this Hamlet’s consideration of jumping off the cliff. Olivier speaks clearly and slowly, as if speaking to the gods as they twist the restless sea and sky. He pulls out a dagger accordingly as he suggests that life and its troubles should be ended once and for all: “to take arms against a sea of troubles / and, by opposing, end them”(58-59).

While haphazardly wielding the dagger, Olivier closes his eyes, letting his mouth close and his mind speak of, coincidentally, sleep and death. The music heightens as the camera zooms into him. The audience hears him proclaim “to die, to sleep / to sleep…”(63-64), and suspense builds as the audience might expect him to suddenly stab himself. However, he stirs and speaks again, lamenting that “for in that sleep of death what dreams may come”(65). Through Olivier’s interpretation, Hamlet contemplates the consequences of death, and consequently, Olivier lowers the dagger. When Hamlet lists the “whips and scorns of time”(69), Olivier seemingly looks away on purpose as he mentions “the pangs of despis’d love”(71). Hamlet may be referring to unreciprocated love, specifically of his relationship with Ophelia. He looks away and pauses, probably in frustration over Ophelia’s shunning him. Hamlet returns back to the subject of ending one’s life, as he utters “when he himself might his quietus make / with a bare bodkin”(74-75). Olivier aptly raises the dagger and tightens his grip on it. He then continues, commenting the “undiscover’d country”(78) of the afterlife, where “no traveler returns, puzzles the will”(79). At this point, Olivier props himself up, and stares inquisitively at the distant sky and sea.

After dropping the dagger into the sea, Olivier appears more confident, fitting in with Hamlet’s “thus conscience does make cowards of us all / and thus the native hue of resolution / is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought”(82-84). Hamlet seems to imply that his excessive thoughts of death have interfered with his boldness. Ready to face whatever comes next, Olivier stands up, walks to the edge of the precipice to deliver “and enterprises of great pitch and moment”, hinting at the momentous actions to be carried out at the climax of Hamlet’s situation. Incidentally, a pitch means loftiness, “a term from falconry, signifying the highest point of a hawk’s flight”(pg. 82). Hamlet ends his peak of passion on the high precipice with “with this regard their currents turn awry”(86). Not wanting to let his plans fall through, Hamlet intends on finally executing his plot for revenge, and as Olivier turns around and exits, perhaps Hamlet will make a comeback and turnaround to cure his madness with his scheme. Olivier’s slow gait is ironic though, as Hamlet does not want to “lose the name of action”(86), foreshadowing a mishap in Hamlet’s plans.

With such emotion in his words and smooth gestures and actions, Laurence Olivier out performs the other Hamlets in delivering this prominent soliloquy. Despite being over half a century old, this representation of Shakespeare’s play accurately portrays the raw feelings of Hamlet and his situation, at least in this scene, making it the best out of the three films.

Doris T5 said...

The video that portrays the best interpretation of Hamlets soliloquy is the video under the direction of Laurence Olivier’s. Laurence best achieves the meaning of the soliloquy in the play through the use of sound, the tone of the actor and the background at which he chooses to set the moment in. Each of these provides the viewer with a better sense of what Shakespeare intended to do with Hamlet’s soliloquy. In Hamlet’s Soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates suicide and the director achieves this through this first video of the bog.

The video begins with a view of the ocean and its waves. This choice of scenery provides an in depth look at Hamlet’s mind. In the video Olivier portrays this by placing the actor in front of the ocean with his head turned back. Then the camera slowly approaches the back of Hamlets head symbolizing his stream of consciousness which is his soliloquy. Then the waves are featured as blurry and set right behind the image of the waves, Olivier chooses to place Hamlets forehead. As was mentioned in a previous scene of the play the waves symbolize Hamlets mind. Just like waves, hamlet’s mind moves in an up down motion. This motion reflects Hamlet’s personality and how it fluxuates depending on his state of mind. In the soliloquy Hamlet mentions the water by saying “…or by opposing arms against the sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them” (p.81 58-59). Finally the director took it upon his time to make the ocean and its waves a very important figure of Hamlets mind. Making the ocean the background for the soliloquy best portrays the state that Hamlet is in. It is almost as if the director is trying to pale the soliloquy as just another one of Hamlet’s motion of personality.

The music in the video also sets the mood of almost each line in Hamlet’s soliloquy. The music was fast, slow or suspenseful depending on which part of the soliloquy was acted. For example when the video first started out the music was very loud and had moments of high notes. Once Hamlet appeared the music became very eerie and almost provides a sense of fear. The music also provided the audience with mystery and suspense. The overall analysis of the Soliloquy is Hamlet’s contemplation of death as is stated in line 55when he says “To be, or not to be, that is the question”. In the whole passage Hamlet seems to be toying with the idea of suicide. Olivier puts this emotion in the video. This is done by first beginning the video with him overlooking the water, as if to show the chance of Hamlet jumping and purposely ending his life. Then the music becomes higher once again when Hamlet takes out his knife. As Hamlet is saying the lines “And by opposing, end them” the knife that he is holding is slowly approaching Hamlet’s body as if motioning the idea of killing himself. The music towards this scene is not only becoming louder and faster but it leaves the audience with the idea of will he or won’t he kill himself. In lines 59-64, the actor says in his mind portraying that the contemplation Hamlet has over ending his life. Finally the music at the end of the video provides the audience with a sense of sadness and desperation, as Hamlet slowly walks away from the edge of the cliff.

The tone that the actor chooses to portray the different parts is also equally important. The actors tone varies at almost every line of the soliloquy. At the moment when Hamlet takes out his knife his tone seems unsure. As the camera approaches Hamlet’s mind it seems as if the tone of the actor becomes weaker and also seems distant. After the camera pulls away from Hamlet’s face, his tone elevates to a scared and apprehensive one. This is done for effect to show that Hamlet is afraid to kill himself as he pulls the knife away and brings it toward his lower body. Overall the tone of Hamlet throughout the whole soliloquy in this video is calm until the moment when the knife is pulled out. The whole feel of the video as well as the actor’s tone has evolved.

In conclusion the video under Laurence Olivier’s direction portrays the best interpretation of Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1. The director and the actor focus on Hamlet’s emotions through the use of music, tone, and scenery. The first video is an absolute accurate portrayal of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Ping L 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ping L 6 said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act Three Scene One can best be portrayed through Laurence Olivier’s performance. Throughout this speech, Hamlet experiences many different sensations. I believe that Laurence Olivier is best in showing these emotions. The sound and camera effects, the setting, and the portrayal of Hamlet have significant influence in my decision.

Music is being played before the start of the speech. The music’s change in volume and speed reflects the situation Hamlet is in and the “shocks” (line 61) he experiences in knowing the truth behind his father’s death. Hamlet is working “against a sea of troubles” (line 58). He is arranging and executing a plan in order to reveal the shocking deeds King Claudius has done in order to gain his position at the throne. To him, this is a dangerous action. The reason for this is that he will be killed with “slings and arrows” (line 57) if he makes a single mistake in his plan.

The increasing volume and speed in the music that is being played demonstrates the feelings Hamlet experiences at the time. Also, the music sounds fearful and seems to push towards a sense of confusion. Hamlet is “suffer[ring from his] outrageous fortune” (line 57). His fate is outrageous because his mother marries his uncle, who is the assassinator of his father. His knowledge of this makes him feel as if he has a duty to revenge for his dead father. However, at the same time, he does not want to do so. He wants to live happily with Ophelia and pretends to know nothing. He is ignorant of the choice he should make—whether he should revenge for his father or not. He does not know if he should “be, or not to be” (line 55) the one who revenge for his father and creates a situation of dismay for all the people living in Denmark, including himself. This “is [a] question” (line 55) to him.

The camera plays a major role in creating this sense of ignorance. The camera creates both the colors of light and dark before the beginning of the play in order to show Hamlet’s reflection of his actions, whether they are right or wrong. He balances the positive and negative effects his vengeance would have on everyone in Denmark. He knows that he is able to “end” (line 59) King Claudius’ power and his “heart-ache and natural shocks” (line 61) “by opposing” (line 59) him and executing his plan. At this point in Olivier’s performance, he takes out a knife and stares at it. This action makes me feel as if Hamlet wants to suicide because he does not want to make the decision he is forced to make. Then, he closes his eyes and says a few more lines before he opens up his eyes again and concentrates them on the sky. He hopes to stop dreaming about his father’s “death” (line 65) every time he sleeps. On the other hand, he knows that “calamity [will last] so long [a] life” (line 68) if he kills King Claudius. At this point, Olivier shows fear in his eyes while he is talking. If King Claudius dies, a new king will be put on the throne. Since Hamlet is the assassinator, there will not be anyone proper to put on the throne. With this, Denmark would be in a state of confusion and will not be good to everyone in the region. People would “grunt and sweat under a weary life” (line 76) if he succeeds in killing the king. Then, Olivier looks as if he cannot believe how the future will be like. Hamlet does not want “to bear the whips and scorns of [the] time” (line 69). Next, Olivier looks around the cliff as if he is searching for the existence and appearance of law. Hamlet feels intolerable for the “law’s delay” (line 71) in finding out King Hamlet’s true death. Lastly, Olivier looks innocent and disappointed. Hamlet does not want people to despise the “love” (line 71) between Ophelia and him and to say that the reason he has a relationship with Ophelia with the purpose of overthrowing King Claudius.

He is afraid of dying and getting punished for killing King Claudius. He is afraid that his “conscience [will] make [him a] coward” (line 82); he worries that his preoccupation for the people in Denmark will make him stop in his vengeance. At this point, Olivier drops his knife, thinks for a brief moment, turns around and seems like he does not want to face the audience and appears to be despising himself. Hamlet does not want to lose his “native hue of resolution and enterprises of great pitch and moment with this regard” (lines 83-6) by revenging. Hamlet is “dread [of the life] after [his] death [in the] undiscover’d country, from where no traveler returns” (lines 77-9). He does not want to be put into a place where he sees people who he “knows not of” (line 81).

The setting of Laurence Olivier’s performance highly motivates people into feeling the way Hamlet feels in his state of thought. Hamlet is experience both high points and low points. He does not know the action he should take with his knowledge of his father’s true death. Locating himself on a cliff, where he is able to see the ocean with turbulent waves, Olivier is able to demonstrate this state of confusion in Hamlet’s mind. Hamlet’s struggle in his mind is like the waves in the ocean, moving up and down at a constant rate.

Quan T 6 said...

In Act 3 Scene 1, Hamlet ponders “to be, or not to be” (3.1.55). This question is curt, but proves to be enigmatic for Hamlet. Laurence Olivier’s acting depicts the true essence of Hamlet’s character as he recites Hamlet’s soliloquy. Hamlet’s state of mind is roused up by a turbulence of confusion as he contemplates on the question. Through the clashing forces within the scenery, movie effects and delivery of lines, Laurence Olivier performs Hamlet’s self struggle magnificently.

The setting of Hamlet’s soliloquy is portrayed within a black and white world. The colors black and white directly reflect Hamlet's conflict between life and death because white is symbolic of life and black is symbolic of death. While Hamlet delivers his soliloquy, his mind is absent of all colors because he focuses on his entire concentration on revenge.

The scene begins with a visual of waves crashing against the rocks of the cliff which Hamlet stands atop of. Hamlet gazes down the cliff at the view of these crashing waves. Hamlet does not merely stare at waves; he gazes upon a symbolic interpretation of his state of mind. Like crashing waves, Hamlet’s mind is in a state of turbulence. In the following scene, there is a think haze rustling about the sky as Hamlet broods over “to be, or not to be” (3.1.55). The dense clouds accompanied by the sounds of crashing waves as Hamlet asks the question suggests that Hamlet is in a state of deep perplexity about the matter at hand. Hamlet wonders whether it is “nobler… to suffer” (3.1.56) or nobler “to take arms against a sea of troubles” (3.1.58) by ending ones life. Hamlet then draws a knife and points it to his heart to signify his thoughts about ending life. According to Hamlet, death is no more than a “sleep to… end… heartache” (3.1.60-61). Hamlet closes his eyes and speaks to himself within his mind. He considers entering eternal slumber, but suddenly opens his eyes, draws back, and comes to a sudden realization that there is no telling “what dreams may come true, when [he has] shuffled off [his] mortal coil” (3.1.65-66). This quality of eternal slumber causes people to make “calamity of so long life” (3.1.68). Again Hamlet wonders “who would bear the whips and scorns of time” (3.1.69) when one “might his quietus make with a bare bodkin” (3.1.74-75). Hamlet seems to find suffering through countless times is pointless when one can easily suffer once painfully and end all suffering through death. According to Hamlet, the factor which prevents one from committing suicide is the “dread of something after death” (3.1.77). The knife falls from Hamlet’s hand and into the sea. Thinking so deeply of this matter has made a coward of Hamlet. He loses the chance to end his suffering because the knife is no longer there. Hamlet ends his soliloquy advising the viewer that moments “of great pitch… lose the name of action” (3.1.84-86) when one does not take the given chance at hand.

Laurence Olivier performs Hamlet’s soliloquy best because he captures Hamlet’s state of confusion most accurately and symbolically. The combined elements of speech and setting create a perfect portrayal Hamlet’s self struggle.

Chris O5 said...

The most popular lines ever in the history of literature were said in Act 3 scene 1 by the famous main character Hamlet in the play Hamlet. Throughout the years and the remaking of the play whether it’s in the theater or in the big screen it has gone through many interpretations. I believe the best one that captivates the audience and attracts the audience to get a sense of the motives of Hamlet. The version by Laurence Olivier captivates Hamlet’s persona with the story line of where he is in thought about his uncle and the situation of his father dieing and Hamlet finding out the truth of his father’s death.

The scene starts off by having the dramatic music in the background, which makes a person listen to what is going to happen. Especially considering the play has been building up ever since the audience found out that Hamlet’s father was murdered by King Claudeus. It also begins with the scene starting the crashing of the ocean against the wall of the castle that could add more to the dramatic effect that the director was trying to portray. The camera starts to get closer and closer to Hamlets head and it goes straight to images that one cannot make out. This could represent the mindset that Hamlet is in right now or it could be like how Hamlet is in a bit of a trans and only has a focus of the events to come. He then starts of having the thoughts of suicide and he questions if it is the right thing to endure all the pain and suffering of the situation of the King and Queen or if it’s nobler for the sea to take his life… “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles… “(lines 55-59). The director seems to use the sea as a form of an escape as well for Hamlet because a person who goes to the beach can dream. “…To sleep, perchance to dream- ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come”. (lines 65- 66) This is where he contemplates whether he should kill himself or just stay alive as well because just like the sea crashing against the wall of the castle and it having the ending of the flow of the ocean. It is portraying the end of life but the ending of dreams as well. But as he thinks more about how complex the human mind is “…Thus conscience does make cowards [of us all], and thus the native hue of resolution…”(lines 82-83). He sees that he has the ability to make the King think back to the situations of him killing King Hamlet and the reflections or thoughts are the things that make us fear and it’s the natural complexion of people.

As the scene starts to approach a point where the soliloquy is coming to an end the music starts to intensify as again. When Hamlet mentions the idea that a person thoughts when they are at their peak they will turn be turned to be one sided just as King Claudeus has done to the situation with Hamlet and having everyone believe that he is insane. “With this regard their currents turn awry” (line 87). As he continues he mentions how this thought of having one side to a story will turn the action and will be forgotten “…And lose the name of action...” (line 88). It seem that the director used the moment to intensify the music both in the beginning to capture the audience and make them want to see what is about to happen. At the end the music appears to intensify because Hamlet seems to be talking about the situation of the King and how the situation that he created for Hamlet is not idealistic because of everyone claiming that he is insane.


The director uses many ways to portray the meaning of the story but as well as try and give an idea of the persona that Hamlet is portraying. As well as try and captivate the audience and have them think of some of the symbols that are being said but could be put to real life.

Will C5 said...

Laurence Olivier's rendition of Hamlet's soliloquy from Act 3 Scene 1 proves to be the best interpretation of the three films. The mundane music and lack of color match Hamlet's mood and state of being perfectly, while the symbolic representation of Hamlet's mind as a raging ocean shore sets this version above the others.

Hamlet's soliloquy begins with a dark, turmoil-filled, thundering sea. Calm music plays and instantly begins to grow more insane and maddening as Hamlet comes into view. The camera then zooms into the back of Hamlet's head, and an image of his brain quickly flashes, indicating the transition of scenery into the back of Hamlet's mind. As the camera pries into Hamlet's conscience, it reveals Hamlet's current state of being and how his mind is functioning. The video then fades and blurs, giving a mirage and dream-like representation. As the music comes to an end, Hamlet begins to speak as the video readjusts its view on his eyes and top half of his head. Hamlet's mind represents a "sea of troubles"(Shakespeare 3.1.58) while the sea is shown while spontaneously switching to Hamlet and back to the sea, and finally back to Hamlet looking down at the sea from above.

While in deep thought looking down at the roaring waters, Hamlet proposes the famous question: "To be, or not to be"(Shakespeare 3.1.55), wondering if he should end his life or "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer"(Shakespeare 3.1.56), enduring life and living on. The actor in the film delivers the lines with a serious and steady tone, and unsheathes a dagger from his waist when contemplating following through with suicide at the words "end them"(Shakespeare 3.1.59). He stops speaking, however, words continue as he thinks aloud. Hamlet wonders what it would be like "To die, to sleep"(Shakespeare 3.1.59), to "end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that"(Shakespeare 3.1.60-62) being of alive brings. In a trance, he truly and deeply contemplates his suicide, however, abruptly jolts out of his state and reawakens when a "rub"(Shakespeare 3.1.64), or obstacle, appears. Hamlet is shaken out of his thought because to sleep, brings about "perchance to dream"(Shakespeare3.1.64). He fears "for in that sleep of death what dreams may come"(Shakespeare 3.1.65) the longevity of life is remembered in a "pause"(Shakespeare 3.1.67), even after "this mortal coil"(Shakespeare 3.1.66), this turmoil of mortal life is shed.

Hamlet's voice remains steady, consistent, and serious, remotely changing his tone. His voice grows more grave and serious when mentioning a "bare bodkin"(Shakespeare 3.1.75), or dagger, and his voice drastically weakens as he mentions the fear and uncertainty the afterlife contains. He displays perhaps a faint fear of the "undiscovr'd country"(Shakespeare 3.1.78) with his shift of tone, and drops his dagger into the ocean when asking if these uncertainties cause "[humans to] bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of?"(Shakespeare 3.1.80-81). His fear is shown when thinking about the afterlife, his will is "puzzle[d]"(Shakespeare 3.1.79), or paralyzed, causing him to ditch his suicidal instincts, losing the dagger as it falls into the ocean. He looks into the distance with his face hidden "with the pale cast of thought"(Shakespeare 3.1.84), and stands up, announcing "thus conscience does make cowards [of us all]"(Shakespeare 3.1.82). Unable to carry out his suicide, Hamlet stands up and disappears into the background, his last words being: "and lose the name of action"(Shakespeare 3.1.88). The fog and lack of direction as well as his disappearance indicate Hamlet's confusion and disappointment. He does not know how to act in life, and has failed to carry out his father's wish of murdering Claudius, or even murdering himself. Eerie music begins to play again as Hamlet walks into the distance, and the film ends. Perhaps Hamlet is more insane than is believed to be, except now with suicidal tendencies.

Faedhra said...

After carefully examine the three soliloquies, I thought the version of Laurence Olivier was the best. Olivier was able to interpret and hold captive the audience with his different tones, his gesture and the dramatic sound effect. At this point of time, Hamlet was questioning the value of life and I thought black and white clearly show how Hamlet is trying to balancing his emotions.

The video begins as it shows an ocean surface waves comes violently crashing into the nearest rocks. Then we were able to see Olivier looking down the motions of the waves as he comfortably sit on top of a rock. Before Olivier started the famous soliloquy “to be or not to be” (line 55), the movie makers was able to connect the waves of the ocean to the emotions of Hamlet. The camera looks upon Olivier head, and let us sees a wave, waves of emotions.

For Hamlet knows what he has endures, the calamity that he has encountered. “In the mind to suffer the slings and arrows and outrageous fortune, (line 56-57) Hamlet is aware that Life has made him a different person for he would never had predicted that it is his uncle that had killed his father, it will never have predicted that he will ever see his father. All of those trouble htat fortunes had brought for him was enough, for Hamlet knows he must “take arms against seas troubles” and “end them.” (Line 58-59). The pain, hate and suffering could be seen in the eyes and the tones of Olivier as he took out his danger as he says “ended them” the suffering.

Olivier continues as he closes is eyes with so much grace. Hamlet saw dying as the most wonderful things that could happen to an individuals and Olivier was able to transmit this to his acting. With his eyes close and so much delicacy, Olivier started “ To die, to sleep-/ no more and by a sleep to say we end/ the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks/ that flesh is heir to; ‘tis a consummation/ devoutly to be wish’d./To die, to sleep-/ to sleep. (Line60-64) and As Olivier articulate those words across, the camera was getting closer and closer to him.

As Olivier come to reality, He started to get more emotional, agitated for he does not know what to expect “when we have shuffled off this mortal coil” (line 66) hesitation started to arise in Olivier voice. As he wonders, he notices it is because of fear of eternal damnation that we let others threat us unjustly. It is the reason why, we tolerate “the whips and scorns of time/ th’ oppressor wrong, the proud man’s contumely the pangs of despis’d love” and as he turned he turns his head way, he continues to mentions examples of calamity we faces but we are too afraid to stand up to them, “the law’s delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns that patients merit of th’ unworthy takes,. (Line69-73)

To continue, Olivier explains that it is those intersection, those perception of life that make us move backward. That interference makes us looks as “coward” where Olivier turns his face to say which show just like Hamlet that he is ashamed of that reality. It is our fear to of what not to expect down below that we no longer take credibility in ourselves. This is why as Olivier concludes, it is our complexion that make us lose our color. As the color start to fade, Olivier explains that we have became “pale, cast of thought, / and enterprises of great pitch and moment/ with this regards their current turn awry,” (line 84-88)

throughout out journey, in the search of our dreams of ambition, we have lost ourselves because we are no longer living our normal life but the life that we are encompass by is full with people that re fear to go to hell and this is why “ we lose the name of action” (line 88)

Edmund H5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Y 6 said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1 is best portrayed in Laurence Olivier’s version, where he uses dramatic music, the image of water, and the actions of Hamlet to show his progression towards insanity.

In the beginning before any words are spoken, the setting is displayed with much drama to enhance the entrance of Hamlet. The first scene shows tides crashing onto the rocks, which lasts for the first five seconds and constantly flashes back to the same scene throughout the soliloquy. The crashing of the tides represents the ongoing process of Hamlet’s transition towards insanity. The most significant detail is that the waves do not appear to be peaceful, having force with each collision with the rocks. In comparison to Hamlet’s progression, there is also no tranquility in his mind. He is constantly debating the conflicts such as the decision to murder Claudius. As the camera zooms out, Hamlet is seen sitting on top of a rock looking out at the ocean and then zooms in to the back of his head. The scene then flashes between Hamlet’s brain and the tides. This is to portray the restlessness of Hamlet’s mind. A considerable detail would be the positioning of Hamlet: right above a cliff where he can easily fall to his death. The location of the actor relates to his struggle in attempts to keep his sanity. Afterwards, the loud dramatic music is played, marking the beginning of Hamlet’s thinking process.

When Hamlet first starts his soliloquy, he is seen sitting on a rock looking downwards at the tides. The actor appears to have a deep expression, contemplating, “To be, or not to be, that is the question: whether ‘tis is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles...”(55 – 58). The fact that Olivier actually uses the idea of the “sea of troubles” shows how important the tides are related to Hamlet’s struggles. His sanity is colliding with the events of the death of his father and the desire to murder his uncle.

The next scene depicts Hamlet pulling out a dagger, and then closes his eyes with a pained expression, while thinking to himself. The knife is for the contemplation of whether to die or to live. He says the lines, “The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; ‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep,” (61 - 63) while putting emphasis on the word “sleep.” Along with emphasizing the word, the camera is zoomed into his forehead. Hamlet appears to be experiencing the “thousand natural shocks” in his mind and also in the dream state. He debates in his mind whether it will be better to die or sleep. It would end all the pain, but then Hamlet quickly returns to the conscious self.

Hamlet then puts away the dagger, expressing the struggles of the human life. He says, “There’s the respect that makes calamity of so long life: for who would bear the whips of scorns of time,” (67 – 69). The minor details and actions of Hamlet truly characterize the struggles happening in his mind and speech.

When Hamlet drops the dagger into the ocean near the end of the soliloquy, he decides to live on. The meaning of the dagger was not the dilemma to murder Claudius, but to whether or not take his own life. The dropping of the dagger while saying, “The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of?”(78 – 81). Hamlet decides to live, but also the progresses towards insanity. By dropping it into the ocean where the tides constantly clash with the rocks, Hamlet’s life reaches the desire to live but also to continue progressing towards insanity. He is afraid of death, but he instead decides to explore the corruption of his own life.

Laurence Olivier clearly shows the thoughts and dilemmas of Hamlet in this version. The struggle inside Hamlet’s mind is portrayed even with the minor details such as his actions or the dagger.

Natalia A5 said...

Laurence Olivier’s version of Hamlet’s soliloquy from Act 3 scene 1 is the best interpretation of the lines. Hamlet’s soliloquy begins with the line, “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” (line 55) in which he is basically questioning himself, if he should die or continuing living. In the video, Olivier is looking down at the ocean, standing high up on the edge of a mountain, while saying the same words from the first line. The effect that is given in the video is his vision starts to get blurry, where it gives you the impression that he is beginning to get dizzy, almost as if he were going to commit suicide. The music on the background also helped give some suspense to the lines as he spoke the words, which interpreted perfectly what Hamlet meant on the first few lines of the soliloquy. As Hamlet goes on, he intensively expresses his feeling saying, “..Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,/ and by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep-” (lines 59-58) where Olivier is able to show every bit of emotion that the words describe. Also, while saying these words, Olivier closes his eyes and his tone of voice becomes more desperate. He closes his eyes and takes a knife from his pocket, pointing it towards himself while he repeats the words, “..end them. To die, to sleep-” which is the exact interpretation of dying.

Not only does Olivier point the knife towards himself to explain what the words in the soliloquy mean, but he also stops talking, and the words seem to be coming from his thoughts in his mind, and not from his mouth. This passes on the feeling that Olivier is deeply confused, and intensively hurt. Olivier’s facial expression shows the true meanings of the words on lines 60-63, “No more, and by a sleep to say we end/ the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks/ That flesh is heir to ; ‘tis a consummation/ Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep-”

As the scene goes on, Olivier still holding the knife in his hand, once again brings it towards his chest, watching it as it approaches his body, while interpreting this lines, “ When he himself might his quietus make/ With a bare bodkin; who would fardels bear.” (lines 74-75) In these lines, Hamlet means that he would end his burdens (fardels) with a bare dagger (bodkin), meaning when or if he killed himself. Then, after a few lines, Olivier comes to a part where he drops his knife, and watches it as it goes down into the ocean, while saying Hamlet’s lines, “Thus conscience does make cowards [of us all],” meaning that when he realizes that he was almost going to kill himself, or when he became conscientious of his action, Hamlet says that it makes him or everyone a coward, which is when or why Olivier drops the knife.

At the closure of the scene, Hamlet’s tone seems to quiet down, as if he realized that he did not have the courage to commit suicide and that he would just have to deal with his problems, which is also when Olivier, while repeating the last few lines, gets up from the rock and walks away in a daze. All in all, the tone of Olivier’s voice helped describe the words and the meaning of the lines from the soliloquy. Also, the music in the background created an adrenaline affect when Hamlet would talk about actually dying, or killing himself. Olivier’s facial expression of being in a complete daze also helped interpret Hamlet’s confusion and his inner conflicts with all the problems he is going through.

Edmund H5 said...

Act 3:1 Hamlet’s Soliloquy

Judging from the three videos, the best video would be by Laurence Olivier who best captures Hamlet’s thoughts and emotions in his soliloquy in Act 3:1 of Hamlet. The director has given much thought to the camera effects, and setting of the movie while Oliver presents the soliloquy in a subtle manner by which the speech is given appropriate pauses, tones, and reactions of body and emotion. The work that is put into the video all collimates into a piece of work that evokes the audiences’ emotions, allowing the viewer to experience his pain and suffering.

The scene first begins with the camera being focused from the sky to the ocean waves crashing against the rocks below Hamlet in black and white. The camera does not capture images in black and white but rather it captures the deep and serious overtone of the scene. Hamlet’s emotions are as black and white as the camera that is capturing him. The camera captures the actor in a depression faced with the resolution to escape his “mortal coil” (82) by killing himself. It shows this by having Hamlet stand by the edge of a ledge where if one were to fall they would fall into their watery graves.

The watery setting is extremely fitting for this scene. In the soliloquy water is referenced more than once. When Hamlet says over the water that he is “against a sea of troubles” (81) the actor is gazing over the sea watching the rocks going against the waves, but in the end one has to go with the flow of events to face their troubles. Speaking of flow of events, on lines 63 to 66 Hamlet uses death being comparable to sleep. When one sleeps, one has dreams fantasizes the relief of work and labor, which is the same as death. After leaving the physical world there isn’t any duties to keep a person from coming back from the afterlife. These duties are the physical labors one slaves over and to dream is allow the mind to rest, leaving the conscious mind dead, and setting the unconscious free: death brings about an image of the soul being set free from it’s physical body.

Laurence Oliver’s pronunciation is clear and easy to hear, unlike the other videos. Oliver presents Hamlet’s most famous lines slowly saying “To be, or not to be, that is the question:” (81). For each comma that separates the words Oliver pauses for 3 seconds each. The pauses help the listeners to digest and understand what he is talking about. By listening to him one can tell that Hamlet is stuck in a dilemma of whether or not to commit suicide. By lines 63 Hamlet switches from speaking with his mouth to speaking through his mind then a dramatic noise arises and Hamlet is then awaken to say how great it would be to be asleep, where pauses seem like forever or silence has come to Hamlet’s world, death. Oliver uses pauses to help stress the effects of a word or phrase to help the listener hear more clearly the important words that are said.

During the beginning of the scene the actor maintains a certain ambiguity in his tone; after all Hamlet starts out asking himself whether or not to end his life. Then the tone of his voice shifts to critically speaking of life and “the law’s delay”, or the “insolence of office.” (82) He is feeling anger because of how he insults the government or the way one courts a woman. But the tone eventually changes to soft nostalgic manner, as he refers back to Ophelia for solace, as he mentions Ophelia and sin in the same sentence.

While presenting the most famous lines of Hamlet it can be seen that Hamlet is holding onto the rock ledge in the beginning, it appears that he wants to jump into a vast ocean that is distinctively heard in the background noise. He stares deeply into the sea, making him appear as if he is deciding whether or not to drop into the sea head first, he holds his head still to stare down the ledge and into the sea. At lines 56 Hamlet reaches for his dagger on his left belt and draws it to have the tip point at himself; appearing as if about to lunge it into his upper chest. By lines 64 he lowers his weapon and lays himself on the ledge and adjusts his head to face the sky.

In conclusion Laurence Olivier appeals to the audience and he exceeds the performance of the other actors performing Hamlet’s soliloquy. It was the director’s mastery of the camera that he was able to capture the exact seriousness of Hamlet, with its black and white tones, and dramatic sound effects. It is also the decision to stage the soliloquy by the sea that enhances the word choice of “opposing”, “sleep”, and “dream” which is referring to the fluidity of liquid. It is also the skill of the actor that helped make the soliloquy flow nicely into the ears. The pauses that stress importance, the body language that changes to the emotions of the speech and to the tone of the voice the actor speaks in. It is these elements of directing and acting that makes this video so much worthier than the other choices.

Erika R. 6 said...

Hamlet’s Soliloquy.
After watching the three videos that show Hamlet’s Soliloquy, the first video by Laurence Olivier seems to express better the tone of the soliloquy because of the music that is played, the place, and the way the actor acts. Olivier uses nature, the sea, and waves from the ocean to symbolize the feelings that Hamlet has. While talking about death, about being or not being, the actor takes out a knife like he is going to kill himself. And while talking about dreams and sleep in his soliloquy, the actor wakes up from his dreams.

This video is a perfect demonstration of Hamlet’s soliloquy in act 3, scene 1. The video starts off with a view of the sea, the waves coming and going, the breeze not being seen, but felt by Hamlet. At the beginning of the video it looks like Hamlet is about to jump down to the ocean, and that is when he starts saying “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” this words mean death, they talk about killing himself, and that is exactly how the author starts of the video. After this, the camera seems to get into Hamlet’s brain, symbolizing that indeed this is a soliloquy and that it is only being heard by Hamlet himself. The sea and the waves symbolize the way Hamlet is feeling when he starts the soliloquy. He is being taken over by feelings and his mind and reasoning seem to not be working.

While the actor is saying “Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them,” the sea is shown, but it is not referring to a sea full with water, but a sea full with problems, the infinite amount of water signifying the amount of problems that Hamlet was facing. Then the soliloquy goes on with “To die, to sleep-” and at this point the actor takes out the knife with which he seems to want to take away his own life, but at the same time he seems to fall asleep, signifying that perhaps all of his problems were just a dream and that he would get up and they would go away. Also this part of having the actor look like he was falling asleep might signify the death being like falling asleep and not feeling anything.

After the actor wakes up, his face looks like he is disappointed. He is disappointed at seeing that it is not a dream and that the problems he has are real, and that he is not dreaming. He comes back from sleeping and realizes that his problems are still there; this symbolizing that death will not solve any of his problems because he first needs to take revenge for his father’s death. He then says “the law’s delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of th’ unworthy take,” he means that Claudius had killed king Hamlet and he had not yet paid for it, “the law’s delay.” Now that Claudius is the king, everyone seems to love him, even though before he was king nobody wanted him. Claudius is taking all the “merit” while he was the one that killed king Hamlet.

To end the video, Olivier has Hamlet walk away from the sea, and the air seems to be filled with fog. This symbolizes the way that Hamlet is getting away from his thoughts and going back to real life. The fog also gives an allusion to being in a dream and then when waking up seeing like the change from being asleep and dreaming to returning back to real life.

Kenneth M5 said...

This one was the most effective in my humble opinion because of the thoughtfulness of the setting, actor choices, as well as audio and visual decision made by the director. The overall effect made one feel like you were witnessing a man that truly wasn’t positive he wanted to be alive.

The first moments of the scene set it apart from the others, and made the other two really difficult to compete with the choices made in the film. The first thing it shows is the water. The water was already used earlier. In Act 1 scene 4 Horatio is trying to convince Hamlet to not follow the ghost that seemed to be his father. One of the reasons was that Horatio thought the ghost made lead Hamlet “toward the flood” (49). The camera then begins to tilt toward to reveal that there is a cliff. This is another reference to the same speech Horatio was giving Hamlet; he didn’t want Hamlet to be lead to a “dreadful summit of a cliff” (49). This speech continues to describe how Horatio is concerned that might get drawn “into madness” (49). The reason this is a good speech to make reference to is because this was the moments before Hamlet talked to his dead father, whose death festered within him and is one of the main reason Hamlet is contemplating suicide. Still before any words are said, the back of Hamlet’s head comes into view. Then the camera zooms in onto it. This is a really effective choice because it shows that we are beginning to hear what is going on in Hamlet’s mind, not how’s he acting around other people. Then there is a cut to the front of Hamlet, then back to the water. This is an effective choice because it is showing that Hamlet’s mind is crashing a rushing around like the water.

The music also added to the vibe that was trying to be shown. The first few notes are really slow, controlled and lamenting, which also describe Hamlet throughout his speech. The first notes are also played by violins, which are often associated with sadness. Strings also have the ability to make noise without using breathe; making them less alive sounding depending on how you play them. The waves beating across the cliff can also be heard. The waves are constant, like the pressures that he is being put through at the moment. The waves are creating a chaos in the sounds one can hear. There is a dichotomy created between the random rushing of the waves and the focus of the strings. Next enters in a low brass notes, with a slightly harsh tone. It is another interesting choice. The feel of the music quickly switches to a more hectic pace, mirroring the pace of Hamlet’s thoughts.

The acting was highly effective also. The choice of pace for the words was highly effective for the Hamlet that is suggested by the other elements of the film. Every word is controlled, direct and sad with slight suggestions of anger. This tone is mirrored by the music, as I mentioned before. This Hamlet doesn’t feel crazy at this point. His sadness is apparent, but he seems very controlled with his words, although the way this portion was filmed shows his thoughts are rushing an chaotic.

The choice for when the words were spoken and when they were simply heard added a cool texture to the overall piece. Hamlet begins speaking about sleep and this makes the words of simply heard, although the actor is no longer mouthing them. It shows how he is slipping more into his mind, and into a more dream like state. What snapped him out of the talking in his head to the real world was thinking about dreaming. This connect back to act 2 scene 2 when Hamlet says that he “could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space-were it not that I have bad dreams”(68). Hamlet associates dreams with a negative feeling and fears what dreams would come should he be forced to dream forever.

This combination of effects made this segment the most effective. There is many references to early parts of the play. There are also suggests of character made by the elements surrounding the character. The actors portrayal is very clear and really focused. This is why I believe this is the most effective clip.

Jessica S. 6 said...

Out of all the three performances for Act 3 Scene 1, Hamlet’s Soliloquy, the first video by Laurence Olivier best interprets this scene because the actor, setting, props, tone of voice and the music is so precise.


In the beginning of the video, the music introduces the audience to the Hamlet because if sounds like its zooming or falling into something. The filming complemented with the background music as it starts with a quick view of the horizon then the ocean which is related to his “sea of troubles”(58), to the currents crashing on the rocks at the end of the cliff and then to the back of Hamlets head. Then the music changes as the camera starts to zoom into mind, adding a climatic feeling to the video. And now the audience sees through Hamlets eyes, yet everything seems to be blurry which signifies his current feeling which is “To be, or not to be? That is the question” (55) in other words is it better to be alive or dead. Hamlet here is torn in between the question that’s why he cannot see the bottom of the cliff clearly. In his mind thinks about whether or not he should die. So then he talks aloud about how people have to suffer through obstacles and the only way “and by opposing, end them” (59). Then suddenly Hamlet goes into a tangent. This is where Hamlet pulls out an important prop, the dagger in which he points to himself. And then the director makes it so that Hamlet is thinking in his mind because the actor doesn’t speak out the lines. Hamlet once again thinks about putting an end to his life “to die, to sleep” (59). As his mind speaks the music becomes more dramatic and the camera begins to zoom into his forehead as he sweats. Then suddenly he moves swiftly and says “To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come” (64-65), implying that dreams might come true. Later one when Hamlet is speaking he says: “When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin?” (74-75), just like the quote the actor pulls out his dagger and gently stares that it. At the end the actor walks away. The costume of the actor makes up the character Hamlet. The actors movement during the first time he held the dagger towards himself help create a visual of how Hamlet feels. And that’s why this video is the best to represent Act 3 Scene 1 of Hamlet’s Soliloquy.

ashley S5 said...

The best vision for the speech of Hamlet, “To be or not to be”, Lawrence Oliver’s had the best illustration of the soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1. The display is seen through as black and white with a horrifying music soundtrack. The video is based on the process of Hamlet’s emotions and its connection to the weather.

The environment that surrounds Hamlet during his soliloquy reflects the illustration of what Horatio was warning Hamlets before his interaction between him and the ghost of his father during Act 1 Scene 4. Horatio warned Hamlet not to seek out the spirit of his father. However Hamlet refuses to obey Horatio and speaks about how it is his destiny and he will not deny it.
“What if it tempt you toward the flood, my Lord? Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff. That beetle o’er his base into the sea” (Lines77-79).
In this part of the quote Horatio is warning Hamlet that is he seeks to look for the ghost then Hamlet will be cussed to fall over the cliff and into the dreadful waves of the sea only to be carried in to his death.

Horatio continues by telling Hamlet the consequence that may take upon him.
“And there assume some other horrible form. Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason and draw you into madness? Think of it?” (Lines 82- 85).
Horatio gives Hamlet a fair warning and tells him that he will no longer be in control of his mind or the behavior of his body. He states that without any motive or reason, Hamlet will lead himself in to the sea and it will then swallow him whole and roar as if it was an animal who received their meals. Horatio is warning Hamlet to follow his orders but Hamlet refuses and tells Horatio that it’s his fate and that he can not hide away from and those who stand in his way will be destroyed and be made a ghost of them.

This scene and Hamlets soliloquy are connected through the imagery of the video. Hamlet is surrounded by water and is sitting on a rock that lays on the top of the hill. The camera begins to focus on Hamlets head suggesting what Horatio told Hamlet about losing control of his mind and thoughts. It seems as if Hamlet’s thoughts are lost in to the ocean.
The ocean is ruled by Hamlets emotions. Water can be translated as a symbol of your mind and the weather on Earth can reflect a human beings emotions. Hamlet is looking over the sea and the wave is moving wildly back and forth. It seems as if Hamlet is lost in the moment and the wave is describing the emotion that Hamlet is illustrating in his mind.

In the beginning of Hamlet’s soliloquy the waves are calmer but as Hamlet continues the waves become intense but calms down when he yells “swear on my sword”. While Hamlet is speaking the sky is dark and gray and there is no trace of sunlight. This scene taking place in black and white appearance can show insanity and reflects on why the ghost can only come out of hell during the night and not during the day. The symbol of the sun is more logical and can have a characteristic of a male. While the moon appears at night, it can symbolize a female and her changeable emotions or insanity.

Another connection between the moon and Hamlet’s emotions is that a moon can cause high tides and low tides and symbolize Hamlet’s personality when it’s going up and down. In addition the moon is a sign of transformation and passion. With this there’s a connection of Hamlet’s father only being scene at night and not during the day. Light symbolizes truth and darkness symbolizes confusion or death or even emptiness. This is can be translate as an explanation for why the scene is shown in darkness.

The special effects and music adds suspense to Hamlets emotions. Hamlet begins his soliloquy by stating “To be or not to be- That is the question”. This is evidence to the audience that Hamlet is questioning his existence on Earth.
“Or to take arms against a sea of trouble. And, by opposing, end them, to die, to sleep-“
Hamlet is stating that one sleeps, it shows weakness or death. It shows that they have giving up on life. Laurence uses these lines to connect with the emotions of the sea and Hamlets thoughts.
“To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dream my come, when we have shuffled off this mertal cull, Must give us pause. There’s the respect that makes calamity of so long life” (lines 73-77).
Hamlet is telling himself that dreaming is like death. When one sleeps or dreams they show failure. They should take action instead of dreaming away their life. Hamlet than continues by speaking about how knowledge can put fear in to a person. When some one does not know their destination in life it becomes their biggest fear,

Hamlet then reaches for his dagger and walks away from his.
“Thus conscience does make coward (of us all) and thus the native hue of resolution.”
People are scared of what they don’t know and the dagger symbolizes knowledge and how it could be the death of a person.

Hamlet finishes his soliloquy by walking in to the mist as if it has swallowed him whole. In this video Laurence Oliver uses imagery and sound effects to capture the foreshadowing of Hamlet’s destiny to have revenge over his uncle but only to result to everyone’s death who stands in the way.