Friday, March 7, 2008

Act 3 Scene 1 Video Critique

You have until Monday 3.10.08 night @ 11:59 to complete this assignment.
It is worth 50 points and will be graded with the open response rubric.

Objective: Watch the following three performances of Hamlet's soliloquy from Act 3 Scene 1 (probably the most famous speech ever given in literature) and choose which version is the best interpretation of the lines. Your critique of the video must be based on your knowledge and understanding of the passage, so you must provide textual evidence from Hamlet as well as provide descriptions of the video. I can't watch the video and read your post at the same time, so you need to make me see what you see with your words. It will also help you to take notes on the video while you watch it. Pay attention to what you captures your attention. Notice what you notice!

Pay attention to:
  • delivery of the lines
  • imagery the setting / scenery
  • the portrayal of the actor
  • lighting & camera effects
  • sound effects or music

You should use the same structure for explication to develop a thesis. Post in the comment stream of the video you choose below. It should be 2-3 pages before you post. Edit and put spaces between paragraphs before you post please!

1 comment:

Danielle S. 5 said...

Danielle S. 5

The Video in which I have chosen to write about is the first video. I chose to write about this video because I feel it connects the intellect and true emotions that Hamlet is feeling during this time. Hamlet’s soliloquy is about his pain, the pain he felt from the death of his father, the betrayal of his mother and uncle, and the devastating denial of his love for Ophelia gone wrong all wrapped up in one. Hamlet’s emotions throughout this soliloquy are a preview of a tragic downfall waiting to happen, Ophelia seem to be that tragic flaw.

In the first video Hamlet “Laurence Olivier” is sitting on a rock overlooking the sea. The Sea is symbolic in this scene because the sea could be a representation of tears and pain like the Greek goddess who cried so much over all the pain and betray she had in her life that she cried a sea of tears and her body and soul remained the rock at the center of that sea for an eternity. Hamlet mentions the Sea in his soliloquy “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles” (pg 81 lns 57--58) Hamlet is questioning whether it is better to put an end to all the troubling events one may have in life. When Hamlet recited these lines he pulled out a knife held it to his throat for a minute or so and then let it down by his side unconcealed maybe representing an unfinished attempt at death.

Latter on Hamlet says “ The pangs of despised love, the laws delay. The insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of thy unworthy takes. When he himself might his quietus make” (pg 82 lns 71-74). Here Hamlet is talking about the pains of unrequited love being Hamlets love and utter fascination for Ophelia the love that is given but not returned. The inefficiency of the legal system, the same system that took his father, made love to his mother, and betrayed him beyond what words can endure. The ignorance of people in office the mistreatment good people have to take from bad when you could simply just take out your knife and call it quits.
“That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes, when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin” (pg 82 lns 73-74) When reciting these lines Hamlet looks toward the Sea as if he were looking for something or at someone, Perhaps he is looking for his love Ophelia, or maybe he looks toward the sea as a contemplating thought or attempt to jump in, in order to get ride of all the pain, to ultimately call it quits. In these lines Hamlet is asking the question; Who would be so crazy to live through an exhausting life that has no promises for you, unless they were afraid of something horrible after death? Here we see Hamlet as very weak and unsure of himself as a major character who is deeply hurt for a really good cause, a cause very legitimate in a humans every day life. The question that Hamlet asks is very deep. It’s symbolic to his inner feeling and emotions towards the immediate occurrences happening in his life.

“And makes us rather bear these ills we have, then fly to others that we know not of” (pg 82 lns 80-81) Hamlet is saying here the we often wonder about things without getting any answers from those we trust which in turn makes us stick to the evils we know rather than rush off to seek the ones we don't. As Hamlet recited these lines to the world, through the Sea. I say to the sea because as he is reciting these lines he is transfixed on the water below. He raises the knife once again to his chest as if he were attempting to hurt himself. In these lines Hamlet is saying that as human’s we’d rather deal with the trials that we have now at the immediate moment such as heartache, despair, and ailments than seek out others for guidance. While Hamlet recites these lines he drops the knife into the Sea below it is unclear thought whether or not it was done in vein or by accident. This weapon being dropped into the sea could represent the giving up of or on something or someone or the loss of someone or something by the Sea the deadly Sea.

“And loose the name of action. - Soft you know, The fair Ophelia. Nymph, in thy Orisons. Be all rememb’red.” (pg 82 lns 87-89) Here hamlet is saying Actions that should be carried out at once get misdirected, and stop being actions at all. But shh, here comes the beautiful Ophelia. Pretty lady; please remember me when you pray. We see here that our beliefs are confirmed about Hamlet he was talking about Ophelia in fact this whole soliloquy was about his pain for Ophelia, how she has hurt him and how he’s been affected to the point of insanity. It is Ironic thought that at the end Hamlet see’s Ophelia coming so he stops his speech, the ironic thing is that we don’t see Ophelia in the video so it is to be questioned is Ophelia really there or is he just so transfixed with her that he’s imagining her to be there?