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In the 20th century, feminist critics opened up new approaches to Gertrude and Ophelia. New Historicist and cultural materialist critics examined the play in its historical context, attempting to piece together its original cultural environment. In this analysis, the essence of Hamlet is the central character's changed perception of his mother as a whore because of her failure to remain faithful to Old Hamlet. In consequence, Hamlet loses his faith in all women, treating Ophelia as if she too were a whore and dishonest with Hamlet. Ophelia, by some critics, can be seen as honest and fair; however, it is virtually impossible to link these two traits, since 'fairness' is an outward trait, while 'honesty' is an inward trait.

This analysis has been praised by many feminist critics, combating what is, by Heilbrun's argument, centuries' worth of misinterpretation. By this account, Gertrude's worst crime is of pragmatically marrying her brother-in-law in order to avoid a power vacuum. This is borne out by the fact that King Hamlet's ghost tells Hamlet to leave Gertrude out of Hamlet's revenge, to leave her to heaven, an arbitrary mercy to grant to a conspirator to murder.

Ophelia has also been defended by feminist critics, most notably Elaine Showalter. Laertes leaves, Hamlet abandons her, and Polonius dies. Conventional theories had argued that without these three powerful men making decisions for her, Ophelia is driven into madness. Showalter points out that Ophelia has become the symbol of the distraught and hysterical woman in modern culture. Hamlet is one of the most quoted works in the English language, and is often included on lists of the world's greatest literature.

Academic Laurie Osborne identifies the direct influence of Hamlet in numerous modern narratives, and divides them into four main categories: English poet John Milton was an early admirer of Shakespeare, and took evident inspiration from his work. As John Kerrigan discusses, Milton originally considered writing his epic poem Paradise Lost as a tragedy. As scholar Christopher N. Henry Fielding 's Tom Jones , published about , describes a visit to Hamlet by Tom Jones and Mr Partridge, with similarities to the "play within a play".

When Baum had been touring New York State in the title role, the actor playing the ghost fell through the floorboards, and the rural audience thought it was part of the show and demanded that the actor repeat the fall, because they thought it was funny. Baum would later recount the actual story in an article, but the short story is told from the point of view of the actor playing the ghost.

In the s, James Joyce managed "a more upbeat version" of Hamlet —stripped of obsession and revenge—in Ulysses , though its main parallels are with Homer 's Odyssey. In Angela Carter 's Wise Children , To be or not to be [] is reworked as a song and dance routine, and Iris Murdoch 's The Black Prince has Oedipal themes and murder intertwined with a love affair between a Hamlet -obsessed writer, Bradley Pearson, and the daughter of his rival.

There is the story of the woman who read Hamlet for the first time and said, "I don't see why people admire that play so. It is nothing but a bunch of quotations strung together. Shakespeare almost certainly wrote the role of Hamlet for Richard Burbage. He was the chief tragedian of the Lord Chamberlain's Men , with a capacious memory for lines and a wide emotional range. Firm evidence for specific early performances of the play is scant. What is known is that the crew of the ship Red Dragon , anchored off Sierra Leone , performed Hamlet in September ; [] [] [] that the play toured in Germany within five years of Shakespeare's death; [] and that it was performed before James I in and Charles I in All theatres were closed down by the Puritan government during the Interregnum.

The play was revived early in the Restoration. When the existing stock of pre- civil war plays was divided between the two newly created patent theatre companies , Hamlet was the only Shakespearean favourite that Sir William Davenant's Duke's Company secured. Although chided for "acknowledging acquaintances in the audience" and "inadequate memorisation of his lines", he became a national celebrity. Of these, Booth remained to make his career in the States, fathering the nation's most notorious actor, John Wilkes Booth who later assassinated Abraham Lincoln , and its most famous Hamlet, Edwin Booth.

In the United Kingdom, the actor-managers of the Victorian era including Kean, Samuel Phelps , Macready, and Henry Irving staged Shakespeare in a grand manner, with elaborate scenery and costumes. What is the Lyceum coming to? In London, Edmund Kean was the first Hamlet to abandon the regal finery usually associated with the role in favour of a plain costume, and he is said to have surprised his audience by playing Hamlet as serious and introspective.

The tragedy of Hamlet, prince of Denmark, (Book, ) [www.aloemixers.com]

In contrast to the "effeminate" view of the central character that usually accompanied a female casting, she described her character as "manly and resolute, but nonetheless thoughtful In France, Charles Kemble initiated an enthusiasm for Shakespeare; and leading members of the Romantic movement such as Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas saw his Paris performance of Hamlet , particularly admiring the madness of Harriet Smithson 's Ophelia.

Konstantin Stanislavski and Edward Gordon Craig —two of the 20th century's most influential theatre practitioners —collaborated on the Moscow Art Theatre 's seminal production of — Hamlet is often played with contemporary political overtones. Leopold Jessner 's production at the Berlin Staatstheater portrayed Claudius's court as a parody of the corrupt and fawning court of Kaiser Wilhelm. In this production, the actors playing Hamlet, Claudius and Polonius exchanged roles at crucial moments in the performance, including the moment of Claudius's death, at which point the actor mainly associated with Hamlet fell to the ground.

Notable stagings in London and New York include Barrymore's production at the Haymarket ; it influenced subsequent performances by John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier. The staging, known as the "G. Olivier does not speak poetry badly. He does not speak it at all. Richard Burton received his third Tony Award nomination when he played his second Hamlet, his first under John Gielgud's direction, in in a production that holds the record for the longest run of the play in Broadway history performances.

The performance was set on a bare stage, conceived to appear like a dress rehearsal, with Burton in a black v-neck sweater, and Gielgud himself tape-recorded the voice for the ghost which appeared as a looming shadow. It was immortalised both on record and on a film that played in US theatres for a week in as well as being the subject of books written by cast members William Redfield and Richard L.

Other New York portrayals of Hamlet of note include that of Ralph Fiennes 's in for which he won the Tony Award for Best Actor — which ran, from first preview to closing night, a total of one hundred performances. It respects the play, but it doesn't provide any new material for arcane debates on what it all means.

Stephen Lang 's Hamlet for the Roundabout Theatre Company in received mixed reviews [] [] and ran for sixty-one performances. David Warner played the role with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Off Broadway , the Riverside Shakespeare Company mounted an uncut first folio Hamlet in at Columbia University , with a playing time of under three hours. Fellow actor and friend, Sir Ian McKellen , said that Charleson played Hamlet so well it was as if he had rehearsed the role all his life; McKellen called it "the perfect Hamlet".

The critically acclaimed production was directed by Niel Armfield. The production officially opened on 3 June and ran through 22 August In , American actor Paul Giamatti won critical acclaim for his performance on stage in the title role of Hamlet , performed in modern dress , at the Yale Repertory Theater , at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Globe Theatre of London initiated a project in to perform Hamlet in every country in the world in the space of two years. Titled Globe to Globe Hamlet , it began its tour on 23 April , the th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. As of 23 February , the project had performed in countries. Benedict Cumberbatch played the role for a week run in a production at the Barbican Theatre , opening on 25 August It was called the "most in-demand theatre production of all time" and sold out in seven hours after tickets went on sale 11 August , more than a year before the play opened.

Tom Hiddleston played the role for a three-week run at Vanbrugh Theatre that opened on 1 September and was directed by Kenneth Branagh. In , The Globe Theatre 's newly instated artistic director Michelle Terry played the role in a production notable for its gender-blind casting. The earliest screen success for Hamlet was Sarah Bernhardt 's five-minute film of the fencing scene, [z] which was produced in The film was an early attempt at combining sound and film , music and words were recorded on phonograph records, to be played along with the film.

The story is a comedy about a troupe of Polish actors in the Nazi era. A key plot point revolves around the famous soliloquy. The story was remade in in a film starring and produced by Mel Brooks.

Video SparkNotes: Shakespeare's Hamlet Summary

Laurence Olivier 's moody black-and-white Hamlet won Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars , and is still, as of [update] , the only Shakespeare film to have done so. His interpretation stressed the Oedipal overtones of the play, and cast year-old Eileen Herlie as Hamlet's mother, opposite himself, at 41, as Hamlet. In , actor Jack Manning performed the play in minute segments over two weeks in the short-lived late night DuMont series Monodrama Theater. A live film of the production was produced using "Electronovision", a method of recording a live performance with multiple video cameras and converting the image to film.

In Franco Zeffirelli , whose Shakespeare films have been described as "sensual rather than cerebral", [] cast Mel Gibson —then famous for the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon movies—in the title role of his version ; Glenn Close —then famous as the psychotic "other woman" in Fatal Attraction —played Gertrude, [] and Paul Scofield played Hamlet's father.

The tragedy of Hamlet, prince of Denmark,

In contrast to Zeffirelli, whose Hamlet was heavily cut, Kenneth Branagh adapted, directed, and starred in a version containing every word of Shakespeare's play, combining the material from the F1 and Q2 texts. Branagh's Hamlet runs for just over four hours. The film is structured as an epic and makes frequent use of flashbacks to highlight elements not made explicit in the play: Hamlet's sexual relationship with Kate Winslet 's Ophelia, for example, or his childhood affection for Yorick played by Ken Dodd.

There have also been several films that transposed the general storyline of Hamlet or elements thereof to other settings. For example, the Bollywood film Haider is an adaptation set in Kashmir. There have been various "derivative works" of Hamlet which recast the story from the point of view of other characters, or transpose the story into a new setting or act as sequels or prequels to Hamlet. This section is limited to those written for the stage. The best-known is Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead , which retells many of the events of the story from the point of view of the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and gives them a backstory of their own.

Several times since , the American Shakespeare Center has mounted repertories that included both Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , with the same actors performing the same roles in each; in their and seasons the two plays were "directed, designed, and rehearsed together to make the most out of the shared scenes and situations". Gilbert wrote a short comic play titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , in which Hamlet's play is presented as a tragedy written by Claudius in his youth of which he is greatly embarrassed.

Through the chaos triggered by Hamlet's staging of it, Guildenstern helps Rosencrantz vie with Hamlet to make Ophelia his bride. Lee Blessing 's Fortinbras is a comical sequel to Hamlet in which all the deceased characters come back as ghosts.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

The New York Times reviewed the play, saying it is "scarcely more than an extended comedy sketch, lacking the portent and linguistic complexity of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Fortinbras operates on a far less ambitious plane, but it is a ripping yarn and offers Keith Reddin a role in which he can commit comic mayhem". Caridad Svich 's 12 Ophelias a play with broken songs includes elements of the story of Hamlet but focuses on Ophelia. In Svich's play, Ophelia is resurrected and rises from a pool of water, after her death in Hamlet.

The play is a series of scenes and songs, and was first staged at public swimming pool in Brooklyn. David Davalos ' Wittenberg is a "tragical-comical-historical" prequel to Hamlet that depicts the Danish prince as a student at Wittenberg University now known as the University of Halle-Wittenberg , where he is torn between the conflicting teachings of his mentors John Faustus and Martin Luther. The New York Times reviewed the play, saying, "Mr. Davalos has molded a daft campus comedy out of this unlikely convergence," [] and Nytheatre.

All references to Hamlet , unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Arden Shakespeare Q2. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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This article is about the play by William Shakespeare. For other uses, see Hamlet disambiguation. Hamlet —Son of the late King and nephew of the present King, Claudius. Critical approaches to Hamlet. Literary influence of Hamlet. Hamlet in performance and Shakespeare in performance. The day we see Hamlet die in the theatre, something of him dies for us. He is dethroned by the spectre of an actor, and we shall never be able to keep the usurper out of our dreams. Hamlet in popular culture. However Harold Jenkins, the editor of the second series Arden edition of the play, considers that there are not grounds for thinking that the Ur-Hamlet is an early work by Shakespeare, which he then rewrote.

Craig and Stanislavski began planning the production in but, due to a serious illness of Stanislavski's, it was delayed until December In the dark, shadowy foreground, separated by a gauze , Hamlet lay, as if dreaming. On Claudius's exit-line the figures remained but the gauze was loosened, so that they appeared to melt away as if Hamlet's thoughts had turned elsewhere. For this effect, the scene received an ovation , which was unheard of at the MAT. Archived from the original on 13 February Retrieved 13 February Bate, Jonathan ; Rasmussen, Eric, eds. The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Houghton Mifflin for Riverside Shakespeare Company. The First Quarto of Hamlet. The Arden Shakespeare , second series. New Swan Shakespeare , Advanced series New ed. Thompson, Ann; Taylor, Neil, eds. The Arden Shakespeare , third series. The Texts of and Wells, Stanley; Taylor, Gary, eds. The Oxford Shakespeare Compact ed. Alexander's Introductions to Shakespeare. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Benedetti, Jean [].

His Life and Art Revised ed. Billington, Michael 4 May Billington, Michael 6 August The Invention of the Human Open Market ed. Bloom, Harold ; Foster, Brett, eds. Bloom's Shakespeare through the ages. A Pictorial History of the American Theatre, 5th ed. Brandes, Philip 5 July Retrieved 20 December The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 February Retrieved 29 May From Formalism to Poststructuralism. Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.

Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Today. Retrieved 18 February Brown, Mark 1 April Retrieved 22 July Brown, Mark 11 April Burian, Jarka []. Contemporary Performance New ed. Burnett, Mark Thornton Communicating Technology in Michael Almereyda's Hamlet ". Burrow, Colin 19 May Calia, Michael 11 August The Wall Street Journal.

Canby, Vincent 3 May Retrieved 21 July The Problem of Hamlet: A Solution Reprint ed. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film.

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Cambridge Companions to Literature. Cecil, William [First published in ]. A Study of Facts and Problems. The Theater of Trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American Mind. The Relationship Between Text and Film. Crystal, David; Crystal, Ben Retrieved 14 July Davison, Richard Allan Ian Charleson and Richard Eyre's Hamlet ". Shakespeare, Text and Theater: Essays in Honor of Jay L. University of Delaware Press. In Wells, Stanley ; Stanton, Sarah. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage.

Fine, Marshall 10 April Retrieved 11 July Fox, Margalit 18 September Retrieved 14 September Freud, Sigmund []. The Interpretation of Dreams. The Penguin Freud Library. Translated by Strachey, James. Gardner, Lyn 8 November Retrieved 27 June Globe to Globe Hamlet. Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays. New English Review Press. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Greenblatt, Stephen 21 October The New York Review of Books.

Grode, Eric 30 March Retrieved 10 December Illustrated by Al Hirschfeld illustrated ed. Gupta, Priya 7 February The Times of India.


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Retrieved 10 February Gussow, Mel 3 April Retrieved 13 July Gussow, Mel 14 October Retrieved 26 June A Shakespeare Companion — In Wells, Stanley ; Orlin, Lena. Itzkoff, Dave 30 June Retrieved 10 September The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies. The Tempest and After. A Study in Motive". The American Journal of Psychology. University of Illinois Press. The Case of Hamlet ". Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns revised ed. The University of Chicago Press. Renaissance Society of America. Law, Jude 2 October Interviewed by Charlie Rose. Retrieved 6 October A Guide to the Play.

Greenwood Guides to Shakespeare. John Barrymore, Shakespearean Actor. Archived from the original on 11 August University of Georgia Press. Reproducing Elizabethan and Jacobean Stages". Oxford English Dictionary 3rd ed. Subscription or UK public library membership required.

Panagako, Ari 14 June Pitcher, John; Woudhuysen, Henry The Masks of Hamlet. Rothman, Joshua 14 August Retrieved 20 July Saxo Grammaticus and the Life of Hamlet: A Translation, History, and Commentary. University of Nebraska Press. Caridad Svich's 12 Ophelias ".

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare. Shaw, George Bernard Shenton, Mark 10 September Retrieved 19 November Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism". Following the play, Hamlet's mother Gertrude demands an explanation. Claudius meanwhile, debates repenting his guilt whilst praying. During his prayer Hamlet has the opportunity to kill him but cannot, believing the killing Claudius during his prayer would send him to heaven instead of hell. Gertrude and Hamlet have a bitter altercation, during which Polonius is hiding in the corner and startled to hear Hamlet's accusations.

When he makes a noise, Hamlet thinks it is Claudius and stabs Polonius to death. Following his error, Hamlet berates his mother for believing Claudius, only to be reprimanded by the ghost of his father for his cruelty. Gertrude cannot see her departed husband's ghost and believes her son to be insane. Claudius demands that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern accompany his nephew to England for his immediate execution.

A grief stricken Ophelia descends into madness as her brother Laertes arrives back in Denmark enraged at his sister's condition and his father's death. Hearing that Hamlet has arrived back in Denmark against his wishes, Claudius attempts to use Laertes as a means to his demise by arranging a fencing match where Laertes will use a poison tipped foil. Should Hamlet win, Claudius is prepared with celebratory poisoned wine. This match occurs prematurely and without the poison though, at Ophelia's funeral when Hamlet proclaims his love and fights Laertes by her graveside.

The duel is broken up for sake of the later battle. During their next match Hamlet is winning, causing his mother to toast him and accidentally drink from the poisoned wine glass. As she collapses and dies, Laertes reveals Claudius' plan to Hamlet, and Hamlet rushes to Claudius and kills him. Hamlet has been slashed by Laertes poisoned sword and is slowly dying. Hamlet pleads with his friend Horatio to "tell his story," and dies, just after proclaiming "the rest is silence.