Friday, April 9, 2010

"Hamlet"

As I mentioned before, I'm reading Shakespeare's Hamlet for school. To help me figure out what's going on I got an audio book of it, and I also got the DVD of the play from the university library. I haven't watched the whole play yet, but I wanted to write down my observations and comments. And yes, I think this does actually qualify as school work, since I'm trying to get my thoughts in order here. :)

I watched about the first three hours of it the other night without subtitles, and then I watched the first two hours of it with subtitles tonight.

Without subtitles I could barely understand what was being said. I was able to figure out the plot and what was going on, but I could barely understand the words. The subtitles helped me a lot, and I was finally able to (almost) always understand what was being said. I think I am ready to sit down and start reading the book.

Something that interested me was how Hamlet brought to his mother's attention, and her husband's attention, that he knew exactly who had murdered his father: there was a play they all attended, and Hamlet had given the actors some extra lines ahead of time in which the murder of his father was described in detail. Of course the actors had no clue that they were describing a real murder, but Hamlet's mother and step father understood.

It's a story told in a story. A story within a story.

It reminds me of Susan Fletcher's book Shadow Spinner. In it the greatest story teller of all time, Shahrazad, says something to the effect of: "Sometimes the most dangerous truths cannot be told outright. Instead, they must be told in the guise of a story." That's sort of what Hamlet does.

It also reminds me of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night Dream. A company of actors perform a play in this play, and so there is also a story within a story in A Midsummer Night's Dream. At first I thought that it was just a cute little thing thrown into that play, but after Hamlet I'm beginning to wonder if there was really something to it. Hmm...

And yes, I know these are random ramblings. I am simply trying to get my thoughts down, and I know they aren't in any particular order. Order will come later (hopefully).

2 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Shakespeare can be hard slogging at times, but it's worth it!

Sarita Rucker said...

Yeah, that's what I figure.

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