Monday, February 23, 2009

Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1

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

Act 3 Scene 1 Hamlet's Soliloquy (Alexander Fodor)

Act 3 Scene 1 Hamlet's Soliloquy (Kenneth Branagh)

You have until Thursday 2.26.09 @ noon to complete this assignment.

It is worth 100 points and will be graded with the APE Rubric.

Objective: Watch the following three versions from Hamlet's soliloquy from Act 3 Scene 1 and argue which of the three videos is the best video interpretation of Hamlet's state of mind. 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. It should be about 1,000 words. Edit and put spaces between paragraphs before you post please!


Mary N. said...

Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy in “Hamlet” occurs in Act Three, Scene Three, in which it clearly indicates the sane and conscious state of mind of the character Hamlet as he can still think deeply of his actions, even though other characters in the play think that he has gone completely insane after the death of his father and the marriage of his mother to his uncle a month later. Although Hamlet is aware of the events happening around him in Denmark, he is nonetheless in an emotional situation as he loathes his mother for marrying his uncle and ponders suicide as a solution to his depression. This soliloquy is recited down to perfection in the version that employs Laurence Oliver as it conveys Hamlet’s stressful mood through its setting and music, the despair Hamlet feels through camera angles and tone, and the pensiveness of the character through the actor’s actions.

The scene begins out introducing the setting to the viewers in a way so that the viewers appear to be peering down from a cliff that overlooks an angry sea with wild waves constantly crashing against the rocks below. Low, dark, gray clouds slowly drift along in the sky, casting a shadow upon the rocks of the cliff. From this, the audience gets the impression of depression and of danger lurking around the corner, with death waiting below the cliff and with an overcast sky above to darken the mood. Along with this rowdy and uncontrollable natural setting is the intensely fast and loud music playing in the background, which closely resembles the racing of the heart when one’s in a nerve racking situation. Hamlet is obviously stuck in a distressing position in which he must decide how to deal with the fact this his father has been murdered and that his mother has married his uncle so quickly. Thus, the audience, from the chaotic and shadowed setting and the loud music, gets the sense that Hamlet is feeling extremely confused and unhappy, which may lead to thoughts of death. This proves to be true as Hamlet begins his speech with, “To be, or not to be, that is that is question:/ Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer/ The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,/ Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,/ And by opposing, end them” (Shakespeare 55-59). Already, he questions his own mortality, which shows sanity as he can think, whether he should try to be noble to withstand the current undesirable situation of Denmark or to end all of this torturing by killing himself.

As Hamlet begins to speak, the music in the background ceases and the audience can only hear the crashing of the waves against the rocks below the cliff. Along with the dull sounds that the wild waves make, Laurence Oliver’s low-pitch voice and melancholy tone express the depression Hamlet currently faces as he seriously considers the pros of suicide: “To die, to sleep-/ No more, and by a sleep to saw we end/ The heartache and the thousand natural shocks/ That flesh is heir to” (59-62). While Laurence Oliver is heavy heartedly reciting this particular line, the camera slowly zooms in to his face to show a close-up shot of the actor. In doing so, the viewers can see every wrinkle in his forehead as the character Hamlet contemplates killing himself. This act of thinking further supports the idea that Hamlet’s sane since it clearly shows that he is capable of thinking before he acts. The camera suddenly withdraws from its focused subject and presents a full-body shot of Laurence Oliver again as he raises his voice and says, “To sleep, perchance to dream” as if to symbolize the sudden transition from Hamlet’s irrational thoughts to rational ones (64). “Must give [him] pause” as Hamlet begins to think about death and its threatening mysteriousness to humankind (67). Laurence Oliver, playing the role of Hamlet, frightfully calls after-death “the undiscover’d country, from whose bourn no traveler returns” (78-79). Thus, this further proves that Hamlet is a sane and conscious character as he has carefully gone through the pros and cons of death before irrationally acting upon any hasty decisions.

Laurence Oliver perfectly captures the pensiveness of Hamlet through his body language and actions in this soliloquy scene. From the beginning, he shows the audience Hamlet’s conflict in deciding what to do about the unacceptable situation of his father’s murder and his mother’s marriage to his uncle. The phrase “to die, to sleep” conveys the suicidal thoughts Hamlet has, and Laurence Oliver emphasizes these thoughts by furrowing his brows deeply to show serious consideration of the idea as he recites the line (63). With each movement of the eyebrows, Laurence Oliver occasionally closes his eyes and presses them together tightly upon close-up shots to really express “[the] weary life” that Hamlet has been leading since he must pretend as if he does not know his father’s death to be a murder meditated by his uncle (76). Thus, the audience sees that Hamlet is pained by what has happened in Denmark ever since the death of his father. In addition to these facial actions, Laurence Oliver strategically breathes in an uncontrolled manner to show how heavy the weight of his father’s death and his mother’s marriage to his uncle are on Hamlet’s shoulders. As the transition occurs from irrational thinking to rational thinking in Hamlet’s soliloquy, Laurence Oliver moves from a lying position to an upright sitting position to physically symbolize the fact that Hamlet is finally thinking straight as he realizes that “conscience [of death] does make cowards [of us all]” (82). Thus, at the end of the scene, the character Hamlet is shown walking away from the cliff, which represents his ultimate decision to not kill himself. This final impression of Hamlet completely supports the idea that he is a sane character who is well-aware of his actions.

Hamlet’s famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy has appeared in several different versions of the media world, in which they all seek to portray Hamlet’s sane, yet confused and depressed, state of mind accurately and powerfully. The director that produced the version in which Laurence Oliver played the role of Hamlet successfully presents Hamlet in his melancholy mood through the chaotic setting and the quick-paced and loud music and in his dispiritedness through camera angles while Laurence Oliver takes on a melancholy tone and symbolic body language to emphasize Hamlet’s lack of happiness.

Andy V. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

Hamlet, in Act 3 Scene 1, gives a famous soliloquy that, even today, is quoted, imitated, and parsed in our culture. It shows, perhaps, the timeless nature of Hamlet’s words. In this soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates ending his life because his situation has become so depressing. Bearing in mind that his father is dead, and his mother, to his moral outrage, has married his uncle, who murdered his father in the first place, Hamlet is quite possibly personally overwhelmed. Hamlet must tread quietly around King Claudius, who has the power to foil any schemes against his person. Hamlet is further charged by the ghost of his father, who cannot seek rest, to avenge the father’s murder and kill King Claudius. Hamlet further does not have confidantes anymore, with his friends reporting to the King, and an increasingly frosty relationship with the women in his life. Hamlet is furious with his mother, who is shown in later scenes to still love Hamlet, and Ophelia is pushed away immediately after this soliloquy. Hamlet is alone in this scene, and he gives a soliloquy that defines him as a depressed and ultimately tragic character. Laurence Olivier’s portrayal of Hamlet in a video representation of Act 3 Scene 1 is, in my opinion the best representation of the Hamlet of literature, because it adequately captures Hamlet’s contemplation, Hamlet’s depression, and a setting that reflects Hamlet’s soliloquy concerning the themes of suicide and death.

Contemplation is one quality that is essential towards portraying Hamlet in Act 3 Scene 1. The very nature of the soliloquy- one person declaiming a monologue onstage, with the character revealing his deepest thoughts and feelings, contributes to a feeling of reflection. The character, in effect, is “talking to himself.” In the soliloquy, Hamlet reflects on whether it is easier to simply commit suicide and die. All of this is reflected in the opening lines of the soliloquy: “To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them” (Shakespeare 3,1, 55-59). He analyzes the reasons that people have for trying to stay alive, and concludes that it is only fear of the unknown, or fear of the consequences of death, that compels people to prolong life. Hamlet spends many lines with this contemplation. In Laurence Olivier’s portrayal, the actor employs a soft and detached voice, rather than the quiet but intense voice that Branagh’s version uses. Intensity is not characteristic of reflection or contemplation. Instead of an intense voice, which is more characteristic of passion, the detachedness of Olivier’s version contributes toward making the actor seem thoughtful. Sometimes, the actor’s mouth would shut and the voice over would continue. The actor’s silence while the disembodied voice continues signifies thought, which is also characteristic of contemplation and reflection. A soliloquy, though spoken out fully in plays, can also be expressed silently, analogous to thought, since modern technology allows voice-overs in films. Contemplation is an essential element in a portrayal of Hamlet in Act 3 Scene 1, and in Hamlet’s state of mind.

The setting is another element that contributes to the overall believability of the portrayal. These three different versions are very distinct with respect to the setting of each version. Branagh’s version took place in the palace, in front of a mirror. Fodor’s version takes place in a surreal modern world. Lastly, Olivier’s version took place on a cliff near the ocean. Of these three, Olivier’s version, in my opinion, conveyed meaning through the setting itself that was consistent with a Hamlet that fits Shakespeare’s world. Fodor’s version, though a very interesting adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is far too anachronistic to adequately convey the depth of emotion required in a life-or-death discussion. Fodor’s version features a man reading the soliloquy into a tape recorder. I cannot even be sure that the Fodor’s character is even supposed to represent Hamlet! In Branagh’s version, the palace itself conveys nothing about the situation. Only in Olivier’s version, with the actor playing Hamlet standing precipitously on a cliff, are the themes of suicide and death explored. Looking over the cliffs, with water crashing on the rocks in the water, the viewer is struck with a sense of foreboding. The rocks crashing below are certainly dangerous, and the fast rush of the water likewise also quickens the pace of the video, all resulting in an anxious feeling that is consistent with the theme of suicide and death. As the camera pans out over the water, and as the water crashes into the rock while the actor portraying Hamlet stands atop the cliff, and as the actor pulls out a knife, the film in this scene is saturated with tension. This choice of setting to complement the tone of this scene is unique among the various versions of Hamlet.

Finally, an essential element of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Act 3 Scene 1 is Hamlet’s feeling of depression. Depression is an evident emotion- after all, Hamlet’s soliloquy is about suicide! Shakespeare writes, “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” (Shakespeare 3,1, 59-63). Given his circumstances, and given this lament about death, we expect a very subdued and depressed state of mind. Several aspects of Olivier’s portrayal convey this depression. First, the haunting music conveys depression. The music starts and stops on dramatic moments and the directors also plays a musical score, the tone of which, can only be described as sad. Also, the actor’s expression of resignation instead of visible anger, and the way that the actor orients his body in a reclining position also indicates depression, symbolic of being ‘too tired with the world.’ Olivier’s version, which uses all of these elements: music, tone of voice, and orientation of the body in order to convey depression, accurately captures Hamlet’s state of mind.

Through conveyance of the themes of contemplation and depression while also bolstering the soliloquy through admirable choice of setting, Olivier’s version most accurately portrays Hamlet’s state of mind.

Andy V. said...

Kenneth Branagh’s Act 3 scene 1 of Hamlet’s soliloquy is the representation of Hamlet’s current state of mind compared to the two different clips of the same scene by Laurence Oliver and Alexander Fodor. The scene makes the viewer question about his sanity but also allows the viewer to see his deep thoughts. Laurence Oliver and Alexander Fodor both portray Hamlet’s deep thoughts. However, Kenneth Branagh’s scene displays Hamlet’s questionable state of mind more than the other two.

In Kenneth Branagh’s scene, Hamlet starts out by stating the famous line “To be or not to be, that is the question.” (Act 3 Scene 1 Line 55) The actor delivers the line in a low and hissing tone. The Hamlet in this scene seems maniacal because of his hissing tone as he talks to himself whether it is worth living or not. As he goes further into his thoughts, his voice picks up and becomes quicker and louder. Hamlet seems to become angrier as he delves deeper into his own ideas. His voice picks up as he thinks about the people “who would bear the whips and scorns of time.” (Act 3 Scene 1 Line 69) He then proceeds to become happier as he talks about the undiscovered country in which “no travelers return.” (Act 3 Scene 1 Line 79) The happiness in his tone as he talks about the afterlife also makes the viewers wonder about his mental state. Hamlet seems happy that he is able to view death in such a way but angry in which how little humans know about death. His combination of happiness and anger in his tone gives him a maniacal image as if he is ready to commit murder at anytime.

The actor’s actions and facial expression also makes the viewer see Hamlet is this insane man. As Hamlet starts his soliloquy he intensely stares into the mirror image of himself and never breaks eye contact. In this scene he is literally talking to himself. The way Hamlet talks to his mirror image of himself as if only Hamlet’s reflection would understand his thoughts. As he stares into the mirror, he must feel proud of himself as if he is saner than anyone else. He also brings up a tightly gripped fist by his side. The fist shows his anger and passion about humanity and the after life. He points out his fist in front of him like someone who is giving a passionate speech. He then quickly draws out his dagger and points it at his mirror image as he talks about the after life. With his blade, he seems proud and maniacal. He has such a powerful glare to his mirror image while bending his forehead forward with the knife tapping next to his head. He also expresses an evil grin that makes the viewer wonder what he is capable of. Just by his actions alone the viewers can see his mental state.

In Laurence Oliver’s clip, Hamlet is on a cliff and over-looking the rapid and aggressive water below him as he says his soliloquy. The clip gives the viewer and uneasy feeling because of the fast pace and chaotic music. The music seems to give a warning like a large storm is coming or something evil is brewing. The actor delivers the first line in a poetic and philosophical way. By listening to the actor the viewer can see that Hamlet is in deep thought and is questioning the afterlife. Hamlet questions if taking “arms against a sea of troubles” (Act 3 scene 1 line 58) is actually worth doing. If the sea in front of him represents his troubles then it seems that Hamlet is more troubled and worried than insane. As the actor shuts his eyes and begins the think with his knife, he is sweating and the music shoots up when he opens his eyes. He seems panicked about his situation and is trying to make the most sense. The scene is surrounded in fog, as if he is searching for an answer for his problems but it is hidden away in the fog. The scene gives the image that Hamlet is confused and is confronting his problems, rather than giving a menacing image of him.

In Alexander Fodor’s clip, Hamlet is a more modern person reciting the soliloquy to a voice recorder. In clip, Hamlet is a wide-eye young man that seems to be lost in his thoughts. The clip makes constant flashbacks to his dead father to incorporate his thoughts on death. Hamlet’s voice remains mostly philosophical throughout the clip as he records his thoughts. However he does express some anger when he realizes that “conscience does make cowards of us all.” (Act 3 scene 1 line 82). However, he never expresses any real insanity. It feels like he is just trying to get his thoughts straight. He seems sane as he is not talking to himself, but recording himself. His tone remains calm and thoughtful and his facial expression remains calm. The scene shows his deep thoughts but it does not make the viewers question his sanity.

Kenneth Branagh creates the best reenactment of Hamlet soliloquy. Branagh creates a scene where Hamlet expresses his thoughts and insanity simultaneously. While Hamlet makes the viewers think about death and the afterlife by his insightful thoughts, his tone and actions makes the viewers question his sanity. He allows the viewers to believe that he is in control of his insanity which becomes a major part later on in the play. Unlike the other clips, this scene gives the best foreshadowing that his is capable of murder himself. Branagh’s scene perfectly intertwines Hamlet’s philosophical ideas with his questionable state of mind.

Ashley A said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy can be interpreted in many different ways and it seems as if there were two distinct versions portrayed in the videos. One interpretation is portrayed as if Hamlet contemplates taking his own life, while the other interpretation is portrayed as if Hamlet wants to take the life of King Claudius. Based on further reading of the play, the best interpretation of Hamlet’s state of mind is captured in Kenneth Branagh’s video because he interpreted Hamlet’s soliloquy as his desire to kill King Claudius rather than himself.

Although Laurence Olivier and Alexander Fodor’s videos interpreted Hamlet’s soliloquy as if Hamlet wanted to kill himself, while Branagh’s video showed Hamlet as more vengeful and desiring to kill King Claudius, there were major points in the soliloquy that were portrayed in an array of different ways in all three videos. The way in which certain key lines or moments were portrayed in each video may lead to a better understanding as to why there were different messages represented.

The opening line, “to be, or not to be, that is the question” (55) is spoken nearly in the same way in all three videos, with a soft and subtle voice. In Olivier’s video, the viewers first see a glimpse of rocky waters as soft music plays. As the music picks up in tempo, the viewers suddenly see Hamlet’s face as he slowly pulls out a knife and says, “or take arms against a sea of troubles, and opposing, end them” (58-59). Lines 60 and 61 are crucial points in all three videos, and in Olivier’s video Hamlet begins to recite these lines in this head, “…to die, to sleep-no more…” as he draws the knife closer to his throat. In Fodor’s video, those same lines are actually spoken by Hamlet as the camera shows the faces of two women and one man. With Branagh’s videos, those lines are also spoken by Hamlet as he slowly approaches the full length mirror he had been staring into. When comparing that way those lines were represented in each video, it is clear that they are key points and they established the way in which the rest of the video was going to run, especially with Olivier’s video because he seemed to portray a more literal translation of Hamlet’s words, for instance, showing a shot of the sea just before Hamlet says, “…take arms against a sea…” (58-59).

Olivier’s literal translation continues as he says “…perchance to dream…”(64) just as he abruptly appears to have awoken from a dream. The next major point of the soliloquy occurs in lines 74 through 75 when Hamlet said, “when he himself might his quietus make/ with a bare bodkin…” and these lines proved to be visually significant because all three videos required Hamlet to act in different ways. With Olivier, Hamlet slowly raised his knife and puts it towards his heart, a gestured interpreted as Hamlet wanting to kill himself. Fodor portrayed Hamlet saying those lines as the camera slowly draws closer to Hamlet’s face. The viewers are left with a shot of one of Hamlet’s eye balls and behind him; there is a bright white light, implying some sort of death. The message in Branagh’s video is clear in those very lines because the camera quickly switches to a shot of King Claudius just as Hamlet quickly pulls out his knife and points it directly at the mirror, but the viewers see him pointing it at an allusion of King Claudius. The expression on the king’s face is that of a look of terror and surprise, which reiterates Hamlet’s desire to kill the king rather than himself.

Lines 79 through 81 are other key situations in the videos and it is interesting that during each video when those lines are spoken, the camera gives a close shot of Hamlet’s face. In Olivier’s video just as Hamlet recites, “…no traveller returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of…” the camera quickly switches from a shot of Hamlet’s face, to that of the rocky water below him. This leads to the idea that Hamlet may want to kill himself by jumping off the cliff. At that moment in Fodor’s video, the camera is close up on Hamlet’s face, while he stares into the viewers eyes but quickly looks away. In fact, he looks down, as if he is ashamed or surprised at the words he is saying. With Branagh, the camera shows Hamlet still staring into the mirror, as his tone of voice increases and he raises the knife toward the middle of his face and the viewers see determination in his eyes.

The ending of each video is quite different, for instance, as Olivier closes the scene, Hamlet walks toward he edge of the cliff and looks over it. Speaking softly he says, “…with this regard their currents turn awry…” (86) and Olivier’s literal translation prevails once again as Hamlet turns away from the cliff as he says, “…turn awry…” (86) only to soberly walk down the other end of the cliff as soft music plays. It is assumed that Hamlet walks off the cliff into the water and kills himself. With Fodor, Hamlet is seen lying on the floor, dressed in all black with his eyes closed, in a similar position as another man was (possibly his father) throughout the entire video. Everyone in the scene who came across Hamlet senior, kissed him on the lips, and the same action took place as Hamlet lied on the floor as church bells that could signify a funeral rang, however, once the girl kissed him, he awoke. Assumedly, Hamlet envisioned himself dead, but the kiss awoke him from that dream. Finally, with Branagh’s videos, as Hamlet says, “… and lose the name of action…” (87) he gently hits the mirror with his knife. Although both Olivier and Fodor’s scenes ended with Hamlet saying “…and lose the name of action…” (87), Branagh’s video continued as Hamlet sees Ophelia and walks slowly towards her. Hamlet’s demeanor changes entirely when he sees her, he seems slightly happier and this could show the viewers that such a quick change in his personality from one moment to the next may show that he could be insane enough to actually kill the king.

In all, Olivier’s literal translation and the black and white color video appeared to be an older version and it did not consider a deeper meaning behind the words. The constant white lighting, black clothing, and recording of Hamlet’s dying words in Fodor’s video lead to the belief that their interpretations were solely based on Hamlet killing himself rather than seeking revenge and killing the king. However, Branagh’s video provided the best interpretation of Hamlet’s desire to seek revenge and kill King Claudius rather than himself, based on Hamlet’s constant look of revenge and anger in his eyes.

R. Gallagher said...

It is a little after noon.

Kayla P said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1was a very important scene in the overall play, giving the audience some idea of Hamlet’s state of mind, and it also shows the feelings he has towards his mother and uncle. Since the scene is so important, it is equally important that it is portrayed properly. While all the scenes portrayed Hamlet in different lights, and all had positive qualities, Fodor was able to capture the conscious, yet vengeful and wounded state that Hamlet was in. Through the use of camera angles, delivery of lines, and the setting in which it all took place, the Hamlet that fit best with the spoken words was formed.

The scene begins with Hamlet sitting at a recorder. Though this is not the setting Shakespeare imagined Hamlet in, what follows next shows a wonderful interpretation of how Hamlet felt. The room is white, and the colors are very saturated. A new image appears, showing Hamlet standing next to a young woman. The colors are so saturated, that no one could be that color without the effects of a camera, or in the case of Hamlet, a slightly twisted mind. The woman walks around in a half circle, before disappearing, out of the camera’s view. Hamlet bends down, and gives his father’s corpse a kiss. The father wears nothing, except for a sheet. He has been stripped of everything, but especially his life. The camera slows the shot as Hamlet casts his eyes to the ground. The scene changes again to Hamlet, back in his room. The room is such a plain white, the colors too bright. This gives a good example of the contrast between how Hamlet feels and how the rest of his family feels. They have chosen to ignore his father’s death, forgetting about it as quickly as they could. Their cheer is such a far stretch from what Hamlet feels on the inside. He turns on his tape recorder, which makes an almost painful scratching noise. The soliloquy begins.

Occasionally, the scene will flash back to the scene of his father’s death, everyone standing around him, in their strange contrasted green color. The mind of Hamlet is dark with those memories. The flash of memories comes quickly though, and soon he is back, alone in the room. As he speaks the lines “To die, to sleep”(63), his father is shown again. His feelings of aloneness are shown by the room, and even in his memories, there is nothing in the background, there are only people, strangely colored people.

The scene changes, just a bit as Hamlet mentions “To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,”(64). He begins to speak in a slower voice. He seems to be savoring each of his words, speaking exactly what is on his mind. He refers to the earth as “this mortal coil”(66), and he has another flashback, this time someone else kissing his father. His mind is not only on his own surroundings, but on the others around him. I believe this is a proper interpretation of him because he speaks of how a man “grunts and sweats” until death, when dreams take over him. Clearly he isn’t self centered, looking at this line. Just to prove how un-self centered he is, the camera shifts so that only half of Hamlet’s face is showing, to the right of the camera. This shows that though he is speaking, his mind is elsewhere, on the death of his father, and the revenge he needs to accomplish. The simplicity of this particular shot adds much depth to the scene itself, as it is showing how we, as the audience, can never be too sure who Hamlet really is. He only shows half of himself. Even in the beginning of this scene, he asks “To be, or not to be,” famous lines that are often tossed around. Yet, we never know who he is really being at that moment. As the camera zooms in, less and less of Hamlet is shown, until it is only his eye. Though the eyes are the windows to the soul, he casts his downwards, so as to prevent the audience from seeing what he really thinks.
Hamlet’s words, which are calm and measured do not give away much of what he is feeling. It is clear that he is angry about his father’s death because of the intensity of his words, yet he still leaves much to the imagination. I felt that the dialogue did the same thing. For example, in like 81 he states “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,” but he does not say what he thinks of cowards. Little missing details like that lead the audience to confusion about what goes on in his mind. That is one of the reasons I chose this scene over the other two, because I felt Olivier and Branagh overacted. Branagh held a knife dramatically up to his face in the beginning of the scene, and Olivier sat on a rock, looking more like a bad vampire movie than a man with a mind we cannot understand. This scene, which ends with Hamlet whispering “Soft you now” (87) is ended just as softly as the words sound.

All in all, Fodor does an excellent job of portraying the anger, yet emptiness that Hamlet feels. His words sound hollow, yet his eyes, when shown, hold meaning in them. The angles of the camera give the audience a better idea of what is going on with Hamlet, and how much or little they can trust him. Finally, the flashbacks show what Hamlet’s mind is like, cold, and isolated. Fodor’s portrayal of Hamlet let the audience see the side of him that we were meant to see.

Kayla P said...
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Kristen W. said...

In Hamlet’s act 3, scene 1; William Shakespeare demonstrates the character Hamlet’s state of mind through soliloquies. Although Hamlet is displayed as a mindless and chaotic character, he has reason to back it up. He struggles through an unnatural desire for his mother who married his uncle after his father’s early death. Hamlet seems as if he has no options in life anymore and seems to be desperately emotional and leaning closer to the edge of suicide. Through all this, Hamlet breaks down information within his mind and plots every move he makes. There is a sort of genius to his insanity. The ways to capture these emotions are through scenery, lighting, and angles. Without these, the emotion needing is just not there. The soliloquy that best demonstrates Hamlet’s state of mind in this scene is Laurence Oliver’s version. He employs exactly what emotions Hamlet is feeling through lighting, movement, and the scenery.

The beginning of the video is very interesting in scene. The angle is seen from behind Hamlet staring over a cliff’s edge into dark and murky waters. The waves are crashing just as loud as the quickly played background music. The dark sky is scene and the view of the waters begins to look as if it were blurred and unclear. This represents what Hamlet is thinking before he even begins to speak. He is confused and just does not know what he is to do with the situation he is in. Suicide is always an option, but the love and passion for his mother and the revenge on his uncle is what keeps Hamlet standing on that cliff. The loud and frantic music playing shows just how intense Hamlet’s emotions are. He feels rushed and that time is of the essence. The music gets louder and louder before Hamlet speaks. The intensity rises and the stress level seems to increase as well. The setting displays the idea that Hamlet is indeed unsure of what to do and is in a lonely state of depression with no one around except for the murky waters of suicide lingering below him.

As he begins to speak, the wind seems to pick up just a bit. It shows the intensity and desire behind every word that slips off of his lips. He starts by saying, “To be, or not to be, that is the question:/Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,/or to take arms against a sea of troubles,/and by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep-/No more…” (Shakespeare 55-60). This shows how desperately Hamlet is thinking. Death is a major option for him at this point. He feels that now that his mother married so quickly and his father is dead, there is not much to live for. He just wants to end all of the pain he is feeling by taking that leap over the cliff. The pain is seen by the tone of Hamlet’s voice. He is speaking in almost a whisper, with no sense of energy or excitement. The music is stopped, and the sound of the crashing waves is nearly a mumble in the distance. Everything seems to be dragged on and careless. Hope is distinct within this portion of the scene. With knife in hand, the camera begins to zoom in on the face of Oliver, playing Hamlet. Hamlet is shown thinking thoroughly before making any decision. This shows the saneness of the character and that he can still manage to make decisions based on thought. The music begins to speed up again and become increasingly louder. He says, “…perchance to dream…” (64) in a loud and rushed tone. This is showing that he still has that glimmer of hope to keep him moving on. After that line the music slows to a stop and his tone decreases in excitement as well. Hamlet says, “and makes us rather bear those ills we have, /Than fly to others that we know not of?” (80-81). This displays the idea that although he is depressed he can think rationally and deal with the problems he has. It says that he would rather do that than be and angel and move to an unfamiliar place like heaven. Hamlet is considering what to do which shows that clearly insanity hasn’t taken over.

Hamlet’s body movement in this scene suggests a lack of confidence and determination. He is always looking down as if unclear of what to do. It completely shows the worry that is running through Hamlet’s mind. He is seated basically the entire time as if he is unable to move. All he can do is sit there and think about what he is experiencing and where to go with it. His face seems stressed and his mind always running. Towards the end he begins to stand and walk around before completely leaving the scene. The fact that he got up and walked around a bit suggested that he was still unable to decide what to do. When his mind was made up, he began to walk to the path that he chose, which wasn’t off the cliff. This shows that he put a lot of thought into what he should do and that he is completely in control of what is done by him. Insanity isn’t taking over at all.

Hamlet is sometimes very difficult to read throughout his speaking. The body motions and effects have to be captured in a certain way to continue portraying something that Hamlet is trying to say. In Hamlet’s Soliloquy, Laurence Oliver carries himself in a way that would exactly describe the way it should be. The lighting and camera angles added to the effect and truly showed how depressed and confused Hamlet is throughout this scene. At that very moment, he is completely isolated.

Tzivia H said...

Hamlet’s soliloquy in act 3, scene 1 remains a testament to his dwindling state of mind, which as the play progresses, reveals his becoming more and more manic. The soliloquy epitomizes Hamlet’s despair, as he contemplates the possibility of suicide. It becomes apparent that Hamlet’s brooding, isolation, and anguish, highly developed through the course of the soliloquy, are more effectively conveyed by Alexander Fodor’s interpretation. Through unique camera effects, a simple setting, and measured delivery of the lines, Fodder creates an image of Hamlet that parallels that in the play- a man undergoing great psychological torment.

Alex Fodor’s scene opens with a shot of a very advanced looking voice recorder and then pulls away to reveal a close-up of part of Fodor’s face, particularly his eyes. Fodor’s eyes are frequently zoomed in on, to convey the sense of reflection during the soliloquy. As Fodor says, “To grunt and sweat under a weary life/But that the dread of something after death…” for example, the camera slowly begins zooming in on his right eye. Thus as Fodor contemplates which is a worse fate- continuous struggle during life or the possibility of worse after death, the shot of his eye and the increased emphasis on the eye convey the psychological aspect of the soliloquy. Hamlet’s growing despair is also developed at length through camera shots in Fodor’s interpretation. The director chose to disperse shots of Hamlet’s dead father sporadically throughout the scene, to provide a basis for his desolation. These shots, which presented a younger Hamlet and Queen Gertrude kissing the dead king, appear sinister as the characters are saturated in a sickly green color. The inclusion of these memories not only serve to justify Hamlet’s current desolate mindset, but through the greenish color especially, suggest foul-play, perhaps murder.

The setting, however, simple in Fodor’s interpretation was utilized especially to convey Hamlet’s growing sense of isolation. Through the course of the scene, Hamlet is situated in a bare white room, with only a voice recorder in front of him. The physical bareness of his surroundings, bordered by no one and nothing, parallel his mental and emotional isolation. The room appears cold and sterile and even the scenes in Hamlet’s memories are similarly vacant. Even the inclusion of the voice recorder, to justify Hamlet’s speaking aloud to himself, seems to convey an emptiness and a coldness. Rather than releasing his emotions by simply speaking the lines aloud, Hamlet had to plan prior to speak into the voice recorder. The soliloquy was premeditated, which conveys a greater sense of a manic distress as he was mulling over the thoughts rather than an explosively releasing his emotions.

Overwhelmingly however, it was Fodor’s minimalist delivery of the lines that truly reflected Hamlet’s state of mind. His voice was at once measured, soft, and his expression, eyes wide, hardly changed through the course of the soliloquy. Rather than being prone to bursts of emotion, Fodor’s tone and expression remained the same, even after dredging up memories of his father’s death. Hamlet’s disconnection from his emotions suggests deep psychological suffering especially if memories of his father’s death did not move him. As Fodor says, “and by a sleep to say we end/ The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks” (60-61), his eyes are wide and unfocused, appearing to contemplate the possibility, the temptation even of suicide. His voice remains slow and drawling throughout the soliloquy, however, gains speed as he says, “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,/ Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,/ The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,/ The insolence of office, and the spurns/ That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes” (69-73). As Hamlet lists off the negatives in living, he appears to gain more confidence in choosing suicide. However no sooner does he concede this, that Fodor’s voice grows slow once more and his eyes look off from the camera as he says “But that the dread of something after death,” appearing to consider once more either the implication of committing suicide (which religious doctrine believes is hell) or simply the implication of no longer living. This shift from a slow cadence to a quick cadence back to a slow cadence as he contemplates the possibility of suicide also suggests Hamlet’s indecisiveness through the course of the soliloquy. He concludes much the same way he began, with deliberate and drawling speech, however, concludes with a hint of anger as he concedes that “enterprises of great pitch/ and moment/ With this regard their currents turn awry,/ And lose the name of action,” (85-87).

In light of Fodor’s performance, the interpretations of Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh pale in comparison. Their use of more overt emotions and displaying the daggers that could be used in the potential suicide detracted from the psychological aspect of Hamlet’s state of mind. While he clearly was beset by emotions such as anguish and even perhaps anger at the intemperate nature of women, Fodor’s portrayal de-emphasized the obvious emotions and thus made him appear more manic, as Shakespeare hoped to convey.

Matt Z! said...

Out of the three movie versions of Hamlet, Act 3 - Scene 1, presented here, the Lawrence Olivier version best portrays Hamlet’s thoughts, emotions, and actions during his most famous soliloquy. The power of the scene is derived not from over-emotional portrayals, but by a combination of interesting cinematography, precisely-designed musical pieces, and the acting of Lawrence Olivier himself. While Olivier as Hamlet does not show the raging emotion that may be expected during such a climactic scene, the piece is masterfully crafted so that the actor is not the dominating force in the movie on purpose. It is the interaction between the implied emotions of Olivier as Hamlet, the cinematography, and the background music generate an exceedingly wholesome and powerful portrayal of Lord Hamlet’s philosophical battle with himself.

The cinematography of the Lawrence Olivier version of Hamlet’s soliloquy is phenomenal. At the exposition of the scene, the screen is dominated by a high and foreboding perspective, with the camera floating above Hamlet’s head, who is standing on the edge of the roof of a high tower. The camera slowly zooms in on the back of Hamlet’s skull, until all is darkness. This is a great symbolic act which represents the viewer of the movie merging into Hamlet’s dark psyche and tortured mind themselves. Emerging on the other side, the viewer is now seeing through the eyes of Hamlet, which are gazing down at the crashing waves below. This is greatly symbolic of Hamlet’s mind, which, like his physical body, is teetering on the edge of destruction, represented by the high cliff with tumultuous waves below.

Aside from the physical scenery present, Olivier’s portrayal of Hamlet is by far the most convincing, and the most accurate to proper interpretation of the play. Hamlet consistently stares off into the abstract distance throughout the majority of the scene, with a stoic face and steady, slow voice. His vacant expression seems quite natural upon a man who has been drawn to deep introversion by “a sea of troubles” (58) and supernatural horrors. When he moves, Olivier as Hamlet moves slowly, steadily, and deliberately as he reaches for the dagger strapped to his hip. This, too, is received by the viewer as extremely natural because Hamlet himself, through the verbal expression of this soliloquy, admits to being torn in two directions and towards two courses of action. He seems as if he is in a state of mystical stupor, possession, and bewilderment as his thoughts are played out for the audience to hear. He seems to be almost consoling himself by pondering what it means “to die, to sleep,” (59) and how it would put an end to the “heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks/ that flesh is heir to.” (61-62) While these thoughts are heard, the camera starts to zoom in on his face, and there appears to be a slight smirk across Hamlet’s face as he contemplates this release from his earthly demons. This parallels the slow, dreamy pace of the soliloquy at this point, where it truly depicts a state of confusion and conflicting thoughts ebbing and flowing against each other.

Aside from Olivier’s actual voice lending an eerie tone to the scene, the presence of music is also a great amplifier of the tone. During the beginning of Hamlet’s soliloquy, slow, drawn-out notes can be heard as he is speaking the words “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.” These low, melodic tones greatly accentuate the dreamy nature of this scene by lulling the audience the same way that these words seem to have a tranquilizing effect on Hamlet in the scene. This lullaby of sorts is suddenly and abruptly interrupted by shrill instrumental blasts and rhythmic beats of drums, which resemble a quickening human heartbeat. The music pieces are the auditory embodiments of the emotions felt by Hamlet in this scene, as he is apparently thrown off balance by a sudden burst of horror which accompanies the shrill musical blasts. The beating drums are left to be interpreted as the loud pounding of Hamlet’s own terrified heart.

Immediately following this outburst is a wider shot of Hamlet, who is now reclining awkwardly on a large stone upon the roof of what is presumably the castle. From this angle, Hamlet is seen as reclining with the clouds in the sky at his back. This has an interesting symbolic interpretation, because as he speaks the words “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, / when we have shuffled off this mortal coil,” we can clearly see that his mind is metaphorically, as well as literally, in the clouds. As he contemplates the release of death, he gazes up at the cloud-covered sky with almost a sense of longing.

These frequent changes of emotion seem almost natural in Hamlet’s cloud-filled mind, and as he moves towards the end of the soliloquy the camera reverts back to a shot of the ocean tides moving far below. The rocky shore and frothy waves below signify both the literal rock bottom that Hamlet could hit (should he fall off the edge of the castle), as well as the metaphorical rock bottom that his madness could bring him to experience. As the scene ends, Hamlet curiously walks away from the camera, into the fog, and simultaneously down a flight of steps. This is directly representative of his deteriorating mental state- his descent into madness, and the clouding over of his reason.

Michaela I. said...

Based on the acting, setting, and other cinematic elements the best portrayal of Hamlet’s state of mind during his famous soliloquy is the first video clip featuring Laurence Olivier. This scene focuses on Hamlet’s mounting confusion and madness. By simply reading the text one most likely would expect such a scene to be quite dramatic and serious due to the soliloquy’s subject matter. Laurence Olivier brilliantly captured the emotions, tone and overall mood of the soliloquy in his depiction.

Each video uses various techniques to convey a unique interpretation of Hamlet’s soliloquy but the first video uses many cinematic techniques collaboratively to produce an interesting interpretation. The first video clip featuring Laurence Olivier emphasizes setting and uses it in a strategic manner to reflect Hamlet’s mood. The scene opens with shots of the roaring ocean and later the scene transitions to Hamlet sitting upon a cliff over the ocean. The physical set mirrors Hamlet’s words “Or to take arms against a sea of troubles” (81). Interestingly, his figurative language is interpreted literally here. The stormy environment is symbolic of the conflict and uncertainty of the situation and the fact that the violent waves wait below Hamlet foreshadows impending disaster, a disaster implied by the lines “The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks/That flesh is heir to” (81). The idea that great trouble in life is inevitable is expressed through those lines and through the symbolic ocean. Continuing on the subject of setting, Hamlet is constantly surrounded by what appears to be clouds or fog which is again symbolic of Hamlet’s his uncertainty about his situation. From his famous opening lines “To be, or not to be, that is the question” (81), it is clear that Hamlet is in a state of deep contemplation. The setting aids in expressing this point. Hamlet’s sits alone on a cliff for a portion of the scene before finally walking about. His physical isolation is reflective of his internal or mental isolation. The setting contributes to the effective interpretation of the scene and shows that the scene is multifaceted.

As for the actor, his delivery of the lines and his actions combine to produce an exemplary depiction of Hamlet’s state of mind. Throughout the scene Olivier maintains a calm and pensive tone. At some points he closes his eyes, as in deep thought, and at others it will appear that his mouth is not moving but his voice is still heard. He also often looks around as if he is searching for something, perhaps an answer to his problems. He chooses to pause between lines and therefore appears to be contemplating his situation. Finally his movements are slow a dramatic which serves the same purpose as his other actions: to show his preoccupied mental state. For example, he takes the sword out of his shirt in a slow, cautious manner and therefore makes him appear as if he is preoccupied by the thought of death. The slow, drowsy delivery could also represent the sleep that Hamlet frequently references. Therefore the slowness would reflect the slowness that comes with sleep, or in this case death. Olivier’s physical movements and delivery allow the audience to recognize his thoughtful state of mind and internal conflict.

The camera’s position and areas of focus are important to note as well. During the beginning of the scene the camera focuses on Hamlet’s face and head. This clearly directs the focus to Hamlet’s mind and therefore contributes to the idea of deep thought. The camera, at times, focuses in on Hamlet’s eyes. When viewing this, the saying “eyes are the mirrors to the soul” comes to mind. Thus focus on the eyes probably was used to show that Hamlet’s thoughts can be determined by looking into his eyes and what he is saying comes straight from his soul and is sincere. Other than that the camera stays still during long portions of the soliloquy which allows the viewer to totally focus on Hamlet.

Other cinematic techniques include the music which was strategically selected to reflect Hamlet’s mind and confusion. The music begins with what sounds to be violins. The violins create a dreamlike sound which could be symbolic of Hamlet’s the surreal state of Hamlet’s mind. As the music progresses and with the addition of heavy wind instruments and the roaring ocean, creating a deeper sound, the music becomes ominous. The music also picks up speed, dramatizing the scene. The sound of the music at this point resembles a downward spiral which is reflective of Hamlet’s actual spiraling state of mind. The music then simply fades out and Hamlet’ begins his soliloquy. The music is another example of symbolism throughout the scene and is an example of how the creators of this film thought to tie together all of the film’s cinematic elements to produce a successful portrayal of Hamlet.

The audience can appreciate the consideration of and attention to cinematic detail demonstrated in this scene. All of the cinematic elements, from set to camera movements, merge together seamlessly to produce a scene that is textually accurate. The time taken by the director and his or her strategic thinking is apparent. The cohesiveness of the film’s elements and the strategic direction are quite effective and contribute to an improved understanding of Hamlet’s frame of mind. This clip succeeds in portraying the mood of the scene which is necessary to understanding the message of the soliloquy.

emily said...

Hamlet's famous soliloquy in Act 3 scene 1 of "The Tragedy of Prince Hamlet" is not only one of Shakespeare's most widely recognized passages, but also provides invaluable insight into the mind of the play's central figure. Here, Hamlet tackles an incredibly deep, obviously complex question-the meaning of human existence-in an almost frighteningly straightforward way. Hamlet is emotionally destitute at the time of this scene; his familial trauma has affected him deeply, to the point where he contemplates suicide. Although the trouble with his mother, his father, and his uncles, is clearly implied in Hamlet's soliloquy, he focuses on self-reflection rather than blame. It is for this reason that Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of the paramount scene is most accurate. The minimalism of the set design, cinematography, music, and costumes draw viewer's attention to the pivotal words that Hamlet is speaking; Branagh's somber delivery of his lines gives the scene a serious, consequential mood that is reflective of Hamlet's dilemma.
This scene features no music and virtually no sound effects for nearly the entire duration of Hamlet's soliloquy; about halfway through the clip, chanting that resembles chamber music can be heard in the distance. The haunting quality of the music fits well with the contemplation of death. However, Branagh's voice is really the only noise featured in the rendition, as the lines are pivotal to the character development and carry such gravity they need little embellishment. The overall effect is a quiet scene, creating an environment conducive to deep thought and self reflection.
Branagh's speech changes very little from beginning to end of the soliloquy-he remains quiet, slow, and calculated; his voice has the harsh quality of a whisper. Branagh sounds pensive as a result, as if he is working through his thoughts as he lets them out of his mouth, like they are too personal to be said any louder. However, his tone does shift slightly at the line "who would fardels bear/ To grunt and sweat under a weary life" as his speech speeds up and becomes very slightly heated. Hamlet's thoughts have carried him from depression and self-pity to resentment toward others and toward life in general. This demonstrates his mixed feelings and internal conflict about the topic of suicide, which are clear in the play. In this soliloquy it appears as though Hamlet is leaning towards committing suicide, as he recites lines such as "'Tis a consummation/ Devoutly to be wished," however, he does not go through with it at any point.

It is also at this point that Branagh pulls out a sword; not only does the weapon symbolize the realistic possibility of suicide, but it shows Hamlet's irrationality and erratic tendencies, a hint to his potential madness. Other than this, Branagh remains largely stationary; for nearly 20 seconds, he doesn't move at all-at this point he lifts his fist in though and takes a few very slow steps toward the mirror into which he is looking. Because the soliloquy was written as an introspection rather than an climactic, action packed moment, his movement is uncalled for.
The camera angles in this interpretation of the scene aim not to detract from Hamlet's speech; the only movement of the camera is to zoom in on Branagh's face as the soliloquy progresses and the intensity level rises.

Branagh is dressed in black from head to toe in this clip, and his clothing lacks any ornamentation. Black, classically, represents death, which is the topic of this scene. Branagh performs in a large, empty room, possibly a symbol of the emotional emptiness Hamlet feels; possibly just another example of minimalism to pin focus on the character rather than the background.

As Branagh delivers Hamlet's soliloquy, he stands before a mirror; the mirror is a rather blatant metaphor for self reflection. When he moves toward the mirror and the camera zooms in, what the viewer sees in the frame is only Hamlet's reflection and not his actual person. Hamlet's reflection, metaphorically his thoughts and inner person, become all that matters in the scene; this is a perfectly appropriate symbol, as the scene is simply a venue for Hamlet's meditation.

The simplicity of the set is also reflective of the language Shakespeare uses in this passage. For example, the soliloquy begins with "To be, or not to be--that is the question/Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune/Or to take arms against a sea of troubles/And by opposing end them." By this Hamlet essentially poses the question "Is life worth living? Which is worse-to endure misery, or commit suicide?" The question is phrased in a straightforward manner-it's not at all verbose or unnecessarily flowery. "To be, or not to be" uses only a strikingly simple verb-"be." The question is simple almost to the point of being vague.

Branagh was able to, in his rendition, use simplicity in every aspect of the scene to convey Hamlet's struggle with existence and correctly convey the gravity of Hamlet's thoughts as he delivers his soliloquy.

Pretty Lady said...

The question being proposed, in Shakespeare's act three scene one of Hamlet, is whether Hamlet is pretending to be mad, or is he truly insane. Considering the situation, one could assume that Hamlet is solemnly suffering from the grief of the plotted murder of his father. But because Hamlet loved his father dearly, falling into a state of isolation and depression would be expected, however Hamlet's knowledge of the murder drives him deeper into the state of perplexity, anger, and, ultimately, insanity. In Alexander Fodor's interpretation of Hamlet's soliloquy, he is able to capture the character's insane state of isolation and depression through the setting, camera effects, music (or lack there of), and most importantly through the delivery of lines.

Alexander Fodor's setting of this scene gives an excellent portrayal of Hamlet's mental isolation from all the other characters. Because Hamlet feels estranged to his own family, isolation forces its way into his life, eventually leading him into depression. Fodor places Hamlet in a room where there appears to be no walls; a white, heavenly-like place is where Hamlet sits. Dressed in a mournful black to contrast the peaceful background, Hamlet is the audience's only focus, causing the audience to be extra attentive to his tone and facial expressions. Hamlet's isolation from all the characters in this scene is parallel to his mental state with the characters; he has no desire to interact with them. Fodor's use of a white room, as opposed to a dark room, which would easily portray Hamlet's grief, is used in similarity to a mental ward. The illusion of insanity lingers in the background of this scene. The white, spotless background along with the darken figure of Hamlet, can also imply that because Hamlet is suffering from intense depression, the abnormal state of his mind is causing him to rot from within. The setting not only blocks out Hamlet from the rest of the world physically, but also mentally. Being the solemn character, he is able to express his true emotions giving the audience a clear view of Hamlet's mind and thoughts.

Likewise, the camera position of this scene is an important aspect to portray Hamlet's state of mind. Fodor focalizes mostly on Hamlet's face and hardly ever zooms out to capture his full body. The cut-off effect enhances the audience's focus to Hamlet's distraught and highly horrifying eyes, which never look directly into the camera until the very end of the scene. By showing only half of Hamlet's face, or by cutting off his head in the camera Foder implies that Hamlet's mental state is not fully intact. The isolation of the setting along with the cut-off effect illustrates the despair and devastating situation Hamlet is in. Because Hamlet does not look into the camera, the audience gets a sense of detachment and loss of train of thought from him. His lack of ability to focus on the audience and suicidal thoughts, appears to be a search for inner answer to his problems; he appears to be isolating himself from the rest of the world as if in a hypnotized state. His eyes transmit fear and confusion of what he will do. Fodor finishes the scene by having the camera slowing zoom into Hamlet's eye. Hamlet's eye displays a distraught, eerily mysterious, and paralyzed look into the camera. Eyes are the windows to the soul. And through Hamlet's cold stare we see a ruthless and mad soul. Hamlet wants to end his misery, but he has a devious plot up his sleeve that holds him back. The camera effects give the audience a closer image of Hamlet's insanity by zooming into the easiest-to-read feature: his eyes--the audience understands that in Hamlet's isolated and bewildered head, he is madly attempting to make sense of the world around him.

The intensity of music is a dead give away of how a character is feeling in a movie. Fodor chooses not to use music throughout the entire soliloquy, except for the very end. The lack of music, therefore, concentrates the audience on the coldness of Hamlet's tone. The coldness goes to show the seriousness in Hamlet's voice; the madness of his thoughts. Similar to the lack of music, Hamlet's thoughts lack depth and intensity. Even though he is appears to be serious about his suicidal thoughts, he is not thinking rationally, nor is he thinking on different points of views. The music at the end adds emphasis to Hamlet's madness; because the music is one long note, it parralells the music used to describe mental institutions. The music also adds suspense to the thought of what Hamlet's future actions might be. The lack of music allows the audience to focus on Hamlet's words and physical features. The music choice was a positive one, because the audience relies on Hamlet's facial expression instead of musical notes to diferenciate how he feels (between angry, scared, hatred, and determined).

In conclusions, Alexander Fodor's interpretation of Hamlet's soliloquy is the best intrepertation of Hamlet's state of mind. Foder is able to transmit an uneasy feeling to the audience, while still engaging the audience to see what happens next. Hamlet's mad state of mind is easily portrayed in Foder's clip, because Foder encompasses Hamlet with loniless and isolation from the real world. Hamlet is so caught up in his own life and thoughts, that he easily blocks out the world to be lost in his own thoughts.