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Artemis
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How many of you here like Shakespeare? We're reading Hamlet in my English class, and I like it a lot. We've started watching a movie with it. They have Professor Lockhart from HP2 playing Hamlet. He's FANTASTIC!! The only weird thing is that the setting seems like turn-of-the-century Russia rather than 12th-13th Century Denmark... :therock: Of all the plays I've read thusfar, I think it's my fave. (Macbeth and Othello are really good, too.) I hated Romeo and Juliet (or maybe I just hated Romeo...he was a pathetic excuse for a man...Mercutio was the only good character :laugh: )
Anyway, if anyone has any Shakespearean plays they'd like to comment on...please...comment!
~art~
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[color=hotpink][size=1]I am a fan. I haven't read as many plays as I would like to have, but I've read the Tempest, R & J, Hamlet, and some others. I've also seen a few others performed at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Hamlet is pretty good. I really am a big fan of the character Ophelia. I have the most tragic looking poster of her hanging in my room that Arthur Hughes painted. It's gorgeous.[/color][/size]
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[color=sienna][font=comic sans ms][b][i] We have studied Hamlet in school too, but I know few others of Shakespeares plays.

What bothers me most about Hamlet, is that after watching it in my class everyone said that Hamlet should kill the new king, to revenge his father. To me it seems that if I were in Hamlets position I would have found some litle room and hung myself instead of killing a man. I mean, come on, seeing ghosts that urge you to kill a man that has taken the post for the king wich should be yours, is obviously a madness powered by some subconcious greed, and todays generation brought up by movies dedicated to slaughtering of whoever opposes the main charecter are to ignorant to notice that [/color][/font][/b][/i]
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^^ I disagree with what you said entirely and sence you said "watched" in class, I'm assuming you probably didnt read the play either. The gost of Hamlet's father comes to Hamlet to tell him how he was unjustly murdered by his brother and now that brother is King and has his wife as his Queen. Because he was murdered without having repented for his sins first, he was cast to hell unjustly. You can make up just about any reason you want to explain this but subconsciouse greed is not applicable. Hamlet shows no signs what so ever of wanting to be king. In fact, the play begins with him wanting to leave to go back to school. He later goes on to call Denmark a prison and bashes on the thrown as well. So what you said really isn't obviouse within the play at all.

Taking one's own life in that period was a big taboo as well. Being that they were all devoutly religiouse, that was not an option. Hamlet is by far the greatest play written by Shakespeare and you won't get the same effect from it by watching a movie (although the Mel Gibson version is really good).
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Artemis [/i]
[B]How many of you here like Shakespeare? We're reading Hamlet in my English class, and I like it a lot. We've started watching a movie with it. They have Professor Lockhart from HP2 playing Hamlet. He's FANTASTIC!! The only weird thing is that the setting seems like turn-of-the-century Russia rather than 12th-13th Century Denmark... :therock: Of all the plays I've read thusfar, I think it's my fave. (Macbeth and Othello are really good, too.) I hated Romeo and Juliet (or maybe I just hated Romeo...he was a pathetic excuse for a man...Mercutio was the only good character :laugh: )
Anyway, if anyone has any Shakespearean plays they'd like to comment on...please...comment!
~art~ [/B][/QUOTE]

Kenneth Branagh, yes he's one of Britian's great shakespearean actors in my opinion. I particularly like his performance as Iago in the recent reworking of 'Othello'. I have to say Iago is may most favourite character out of all the plays that I have read, Edgar from 'King Lear' coming a close second.

I think that my most favourite play has to be either Hacbeth or Othello. Macbeth is just great as the villian of the piece, the fight scene between him and macduff is excelent.

I find that most shakespearean heroines, not including Viola and Rosalinde, are so totally and infuriatingly annoying. Ophelia was just a pain as was Desdemona...*sighs*. Of course you have to look into this in the historical context of the play, where women were expected to be subserviant to me, quiet polite etc, but seriously Cordelia in Lear deserved everything she got.

BTW: Mel Gibson does do really well as the Mad Dane, it's a nice movie.
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[color=sienna][font=comic sans ms][b][i] *Cracks knuckles*
I just realized how much time has passed since I've taken a part in a debate, I think I lost the abilty to make my point. heh.

Firstly, SadClown, you're right, we didn't read the whole play, we only studied the parts needed for the coursework and then watched couple of film versions of the play (although we didn't get the one with Mel Gibson) to see how the scenes we red fit into the whole play. After that our a litle bit eccentric teacher tried to get us debating about weather it was right for Hamlet to kill his uncle and weather we would do it if we ended up in his place.

Now, most people in our class, that he had to do it to avenge his fathers death. They simply ignored the fact that he had completely no solid evidence to prove that new king killed the old king. Or that he was seeing ghosts, which is an obvious sign of madness.

Now of course the play is set in ages of supperstitions and the ghosts can be taken for granted to exist. Yet even then there's litle basis for believing what it said. However if we believe in ghosts we can believe in demos as well, or some evil spirits trying to drive Hamlet into madness and kill the king. I don't think it was fully proven in the play, that Hamlets uncle did actualy murder his own brother. Well, unless I missed his confession.

So, now put yourself in Hamlets position. You are seeing ghosts, that your mother can not see and their asking you to kill your own uncle. Now tell me (without ranting on about the basics of the storyline (no offence)) isn't it mad to act on ghost's words and some suspicion, especialy to kill a relative?[/color][/font][/b][/i]
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I believe question of madness is debated to no end within Hamlet, Hamlet even questions his own sanity with regards to this subject. I myself am not particularly knowledgable about Hamlet since it's one of the plays that i find less appealing. Ask me about Lear or Othello, even Macbeth, now there's something to get your teeth into.
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[size=1] Hm...

I personally hate Shakespeare's [i]Romeo and Juliet[/i], but I still like some of his plays. Even though I thought [i]Hamlet[/i] spent two-thirds of the book about Hamlet himself moping and talking and thinking while sitting on a rock or whatever, I still enjoyed it very much.

Those of you saying that Hamlet was obviously insane and the person saying Hamlet shouldn't have killed the new king, well...those are your opinions. I don't think Hamlet is insane. If he is, it's not obvious. I recall that the two guards at the beginning of the story also saw the ghost of Hamlet's father. And yes, I also recall the time where Hamlet and his mother were in his mother's chambers, and the queen never saw the ghost. It is very possible that the ghost of Hamlet's father appears only at will to the eyes he chooses. I mean, the fact that a ghost is already in the main part of this story allows that, right?

*mumbles*[/size]
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I wasn't trying to attack you, first of all, so don't use *cracking knuckles* or whatever when begining a reply, I'll take offence to that.

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by rokas [/i]
[B][color=sienna][font=comic sans ms][b][i] I don't think it was fully proven in the play, that Hamlets uncle did actualy murder his own brother. Well, unless I missed his confession.
[/color][/font][/b][/i] [/B][/QUOTE]

You did acctually miss it then. Several times acctually. For one, the "play within a play" scene which is meant to mimic the death of the acctual King drives Claudius into a rage of fear and guilt where he then confesses (unkowing of Hamelt's pressence) to the killing of his brother.

And your right, that age was very supersticiouse, but people often did the opposite of what you said and did trust ghosts and preminitions. Especially considoring that the death of Hamlet's father and the remarriage of his mother were both suspiciouse, it made good sence that Hamlet would believe the explanation given, sence none other was.

I know you probably meant well, but you need to acctually read a story before you start bashing it and assuming you know what its about becuase you missed a lot of important details that probably would have swayed your opinion had you read them.
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[quote][i]Originally posted by rokas[/i]
Now of course the play is set in ages of supperstitions and the ghosts can be taken for granted to exist. Yet even then there's litle basis for believing what it said. However if we believe in ghosts we can believe in demos as well, or some evil spirits trying to drive Hamlet into madness and kill the king. I don't think it was fully proven in the play, that Hamlets uncle did actualy murder his own brother. Well, unless I missed his confession.

So, now put yourself in Hamlets position. You are seeing ghosts, that your mother can not see and their asking you to kill your own uncle. Now tell me (without ranting on about the basics of the storyline (no offence)) isn't it mad to act on ghost's words and some suspicion, especialy to kill a relative?
[/quote]
[color=deeppink]
As sad clown said, you did miss it. Hamlet puts on a play for the royal court, in which the king is killed by his brother and the king's wife is married his brother. The whole point is to see how nervous and neurotic the uncle gets because he actually is guilty, and Hamlet wants that as proof, and he also wants his uncle to know that he knows he killed his brother.

Okay, I'm in Hamlet's postion. My father has just died by questionable means. I am severly depressed. Then, my uncle [i]marries[/i] my mother, not a month after my father is dead. I just saw the ghost/spirit of my father, telling me how he was killed. Would you not also wish for revenge? Someone you love dearly is killed by your own UNCLE. Your family. Then he marries your mother before you father is even cold in the grave! Your lover (Ophelia) goes insane because you killed her father on accident, and commits suicide.

Don't tell me you wouldn't be really depressed, and want some kind of retribution for your father's death. In the end he ends up killing himself, because everyone he has every loved with the exception of Horatio is dead, three of them dying because of his actions.

The entire play is about the fragility and imperfection of human emotion. About how we fall short, and about how the tales we weave end up suffocating us. Right and wrong becomes a mude point, it's all gray area. I really must question your teacher's intelligence, applying as he did the current laws and concepts of right and wrong to an old Shakesperian play. O.o"
[/color]
[quote][i]Originally posted by maladjusted[/i]
Those of you saying that Hamlet was obviously insane and the person saying Hamlet shouldn't have killed the new king, well...those are your opinions. I don't think Hamlet is insane. If he is, it's not obvious. I recall that the two guards at the beginning of the story also saw the ghost of Hamlet's father. And yes, I also recall the time where Hamlet and his mother were in his mother's chambers, and the queen never saw the ghost. It is very possible that the ghost of Hamlet's father appears only at will to the eyes he chooses. I mean, the fact that a ghost is already in the main part of this story allows that, right?
[/quote]
[color=deeppink]
How true. Depression and insanity are not the same thing! He's severly depressed, and for good reason, which in some ways will drive a person to do worse things than if they were insane. Also, yes, the two guards see the ghost as well, as does Horatio, I believe. Because of the time period, it's a given point that it is perfectly normal for ghosts to exist. Seeing spirits would not mean you were insane. That is how Shakespeare wrote the play. Using the 'oh he's seeing things, he must be insane' is a useless point here. You put it well mal.

-Karma
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Your tottaly on track. I just wanted to point on thing out...

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by KarmaOfChaos [/i]
[B][color=deeppink]
In the end he ends up killing himself
[/color] [/B][/QUOTE]

He is acctually killed by the poison on the sword he is stabbed with by Horatio.
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I just finished reading it last night. [i]Laertes[/i] kills Hamlet. (he's Ophelia's brother.) Claudius (Hamlet's uncle, the king) sort guides Laer's thirst for revenge towards killing Hamlet. (Hamlet killed Laer's father, Polonious, thinking he was Claudius.) Laertes and Hamlet end up filling each other with Laer's poisoned sword. Afterwards they apologize and forgive each other.
So, there's a better version of Othello out there than "O"? *sighs* Thank God! For those of you who've seen "O", I'm sure you'll agree that it was disturbing to put those kind of adult actions in a high school setting...over who got to their MVP in basketball...ridiculous...:rolleyes: :twitch:
Oh, yeah, and as far as Hamlet's sanity goes, I believe he was sane nearly 100% of the time. He flat out tells his friends at the beginning that's he's going to pretend to be mad to throw everyone off. There's meaning in nearly everything he says when he's supposed to be mad. He knows what's going on. He's not stupid. He actually sort of reminded me of Sir Percival Blackney of The Scarlet Pimpernel. The person who did go completely mad :drunk: was Ophelia. She actually ends up somewhat prophetic while insane.
As to the suicide issue, Hamlet knew all along that it's wrong. He discusses it on at least 2 occassions ("to be or not be" an once before).
The only thing in Hamlet that really bothered me, was Hamlet and Laertes fighting in Ophelia's grave after they've both been hugging her dead body...:twitch: Can you say "necrophilia"?
~art~
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^^ For the life of my I do not know why I said Horatio when I know (or should know) full well that it is Laerties. Anyway, thanks for correcting me on that. But I don't see how hugging the body of a dead loved one his in anyway necrophelia. If either of them had or at least talked about having sex with her corpse, that's a different story. But then in Laerties' case, would that be necrophelia or incest?!
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by artemis [/i]
[B]I just finished reading it last night. Laertes kills Hamlet. (he's Ophelia's brother.) Claudius (Hamlet's uncle, the king) sort guides Laer's thirst for revenge towards killing Hamlet. (Hamlet killed Laer's father, Polonious, thinking he was Claudius.) Laertes and Hamlet end up filling each other with Laer's poisoned sword. Afterwards they apologize and forgive each other.
So, there's a better version of Othello out there than "O"? *sighs* Thank God! For those of you who've seen "O", I'm sure you'll agree that it was disturbing to put those kind of adult actions in a high school setting...over who got to their MVP in basketball...ridiculous...
Oh, yeah, and as far as Hamlet's sanity goes, I believe he was sane nearly 100% of the time. He flat out tells his friends at the beginning that's he's going to pretend to be mad to throw everyone off. There's meaning in nearly everything he says when he's supposed to be mad. He knows what's going on. He's not stupid. He actually sort of reminded me of Sir Percival Blackney of The Scarlet Pimpernel. The person who did go completely mad was Ophelia. She actually ends up somewhat prophetic while insane.
As to the suicide issue, Hamlet knew all along that it's wrong. He discusses it on at least 2 occassions ("to be or not be" an once before).
The only thing in Hamlet that really bothered me, was Hamlet and Laertes fighting in Ophelia's grave after they've both been hugging her dead body... Can you say "necrophilia"?
~art~ [/B][/QUOTE]
[color=deeppink]
Oops. Sorry, my mind was a bit off track. I am shocked an appalled at my mistake. x.x" Forgive me.

And yes, he does say he shall purposely act insane. Another part of my argument that got left out because my mind was wandering...c'est la vie. Thanks for the corrections Art.

It is kind of the same situation in The Scarlet Pimpernel, isn't it? Weird, I guess I just never thought to make that association. Still...both Hamlet and The Scarlet Pimpernel rocked my socks. Yay.

-Karma
[/color]
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I'm a big Scarlet Pimpernel fan. Did you know they made a musical out of it? They performed it in Wichita this summer. It was awesome!!
Anyway, to get back on topic, the necro thing was a joke.
I've got a question regarding Hamlet and Ophelia:
Is there any evidence in the play that they've been sleeping together? The movie portrays it that way, but I thought that might simply be artistic license. (I'd rather not think that they'd been sleeping around.) If you've read "The Shakespeare Stealer" by Gary Blackwood, you want to think of Ophelia as rather innocent because you really get to know 2 (fictional)characters who portray her at the Globe theater.
~art~ :D
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Artemis [/i]
[B]I'm a big Scarlet Pimpernel fan. Did you know they made a musical out of it? They performed it in Wichita this summer. It was awesome!!
Anyway, to get back on topic, the necro thing was a joke.
I've got a question regarding Hamlet and Ophelia:
Is there any evidence in the play that they've been sleeping together? The movie portrays it that way, but I thought that might simply be artistic license. (I'd rather not think that they'd been sleeping around.) If you've read "The Shakespeare Stealer" by Gary Blackwood, you want to think of Ophelia as rather innocent because you really get to know 2 (fictional)characters who portray her at the Globe theater.
~art~ :D [/B][/QUOTE]

Hey I read that book, though it was many many moons ago ^_^.

I think that, due to the general taboo of the time, they probably weren't sleeping together, or if they were it was on the extreme sly.
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No, I don't think it ever eludes to them sleeping together before, although at one point they were romantically involved hence why Hamlet is able to offend her so badly. I suggest that everyone read the scene where they are doing the "Play within a Play" and look closely at what he says to her. Shakespeare could be a very clever and VERY dirty man, lol.
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*cough*cough*Othello*cough* Talk about dirty. And then you get a whole bunch of giggling sophomores reading it out loud in class...chaos I tell you... lol
I guess I get kinda lazy when I'm reading it. Sometimes I just completely miss stuff. And, while reading it, I never got the impression that they had a physical relationship.
Hey, doukeshi03, which book were you referring to? They're both pretty good. (The sequel to [i]The Shakespeare Stealer[/i] isn't as good, but it's not bad either.)
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by SadClown [/i]
[B]No, I don't think it ever eludes to them sleeping together before, although at one point they were romantically involved hence why Hamlet is able to offend her so badly. I suggest that everyone read the scene where they are doing the "Play within a Play" and look closely at what he says to her. Shakespeare could be a very clever and VERY dirty man, lol. [/B][/QUOTE]

We are led to believe Ophelia is a virgin.

[quote][i]Originally written by William Shakespeare[/i]
[b]Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmastered importunity.[/b][/quote]

What is Laertes saying here? [spoiler]He's telling Ophelia to not spread her legs just yet.[/spoiler]

Now, Sadclown, lol, "romantically involved" is a nice way of putting it.

I call attention to 3:1:154-157.

[quote][i]Originally written by William Shakespeare[/i]
[b]And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That sucked the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled out of tune and harsh.[/b][/quote]

Translation: [spoiler]Fellatio. "Sucked the honey of his music vows." "Sweet bells jangled out of tune." Sucking honey...yeah. Sweet bells...a certain part of the male anatomy.[/spoiler]

3:2:101-107.

[quote][i]Originally written by William Shakespeare[/i]
[b]Hamlet: Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Ophelia: No, my lord.
Hamlet: I mean my head upon your lap?
Ophelia: Ay, my lord.
Hamlet: Do you think I meant country matters?
Ophelia: I think nothing, my lord.
Hamlet: That's a fair thought to lie between maids' legs.[/b][/quote]

Translation: [spoiler]Cunnilingus. ?Head upon your lap.? ?Country matters? (Pun on a slang term for female anatomy.).[/spoiler]

[spoiler]Hamlet and Ophelia are at third base. Ophelia is presented much like Bianca in Othello: a very dependent and obsessed female who is invested much more emotionally than the partner in the relationship.[/spoiler]
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Artemis [/i]
[B]*cringes* Oh Lord... Yeah... that's what I was afraid of... I caught on to quite a bit of it while reading, but some of that seems like modern twists on what he wrote...:eek: *shudders* :twitch:
~art~ [/B][/QUOTE]

Might be modern twists onto what he wrote, but check out The Norton Shakespeare: Oxford Edition. Probably one of the definitive volumes on Shakespeare...very...[i]extensive[/i] history, footnotes, interpretation, background, notes of Elizabethan and Jacobean terminology and innuendo.
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  • 1 month later...
[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by PoisonTongue [/i]
[B]Might be modern twists onto what he wrote, but check out The Norton Shakespeare: Oxford Edition. Probably one of the definitive volumes on Shakespeare...very...[i]extensive[/i] history, footnotes, interpretation, background, notes of Elizabethan and Jacobean terminology and innuendo. [/B][/QUOTE]

Hmm...I'll have to look into that.

As long as we're discussing Shakespeare, who's up for a bit of "Merchant of Venice" discussion? Some friends and I did a presentation on it for English class. We changed some things and set it in Roaring Twenties, New York. It was a whole lot of fun. Has anyone else done modern renditions of Shakespeare?
~art~
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Well...i guess i missed the topic on Hamlet. But it was my favorite play. To me it just seemed like it had a great story line. The characters were ones you could actually understand. Or at least, ones you could put yourself into their shoes. I used to hate reading old english plays like Romeo and Juliet, but when I read Macbeth i acutally understood it, even though half my class didn't.

I had always heard about Hamlet from the seniors in my school, the ones that came before me, and thought i would hate the play. But i loved it. I really did love it.

The reason Hamlet never committed suicide, even though he thought of it, was because he was afriad. He was afriad of what comes after death. That was one of shakespears points of the play. After all, Hamlet's fatal flaw was his inability to act. That's why so many died at the end of the play. (Horatio, and Fortinbras where the only major people left alive.)

Hamlet is not mad. you can tell this by looking at the differences between him and Ophelia. Plus, he even says he is not mad, that he is only playing.

Like i said earlier, Hamlet is my favorite play, although Macbeth comes in second.
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