Hamlet

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Throughout different contexts, perspectives change. With these changing perspectives, composers collaborate with one another in order to attain a heightened understanding of the context. The enduring quality of Hamlet arises from its textual integrity, and its exploration of universal themes relating to the human condition. As such, the cohesive nature of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601) is enhanced through Gregory Doran’s’ film interpretation Hamlet BBC (2009). An analysis of this contemporary production elucidates the concepts from the original play, exploring the deceptive facades of the protagonist and antagonist. Further we can observe the inter-play of duty on identity and judge the notions of mortality in order to realise the fragility of life. Both texts remain relevant in relating with the modern audience and more specifically, the symbolisation of the ‘mouse trap.’ The notion of verisimilitude, which is chronic to humanity is exemplified in Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy Hamlet through the characters of Hamlet and Claudius. Noblemen such as King Hamlet were seen as individuals chosen by God; therefore Claudius’ fratricide against King Hamlet was seen as a supremely sinful deed in that context. The serious nature of his crime necessitated his façade. The use of first-person collective and plosives in ‘Our dear brothers’ death… and our whole kingdom be contracted in one brow of woe’ (1.2.1-4) emphasizes Claudius’ overwrought attention in maintaining his ‘honest’ and ‘honourable’ image. The notion of illusion against reality is further emphasised in the paradox of ‘that we wisest think on him… With one auspicious and one dropping eye’ which conveys Claudius’s insincerity and reflects man’s deceptive capabilities. Hamlet’s feigning of an ‘antic disposition’ symbolises his deceit in hiding his renaissance ideologies. Hamlet’s aphoristic statement “that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain”, after hearing of Claudius’s murderous act, evokes the central...
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