Hamlet Speech

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The tragedy of Hamlet follows the story of Hamlet of Denmark and the path he takes to revenging of his murdered father. The play was first performed as early 1607 and is still performed widely today. The fact that it is still performed today can be put down to the universality of the themes and issues of the plot. For my production, I have chosen to keep a traditional setting in order to emphasise the universality of the play. By leaving the setting unchanged, it allows a modern audience to fully appreciate the relevance of issues from and Elizabethan era, and the way in which they relate to the current day. The universality of Hamlet is emphasised by Kenneth Brannagh who, in an introduction to Hamlet, discusses the fact that ‘many of the lines from Hamlet are in our everyday speech’ and have become second nature to be used. The start of the play is one of the most pivotal scenes for my production. In this scene I chose to explore the rapid movement from Old King Hamlet’s funeral to the wedding as well as Hamlet’s separation from the rest of the characters as this allows for a good background to the events to follow in the play. Similarly to Zefferelli’s version of Hamlet, I chose to have the play start with the funeral of Old King Hamlet. In my production I start with Gertrude lamenting most extravagantly, wailing and throwing herself upon the grave of her late husband in a pale white dress. This scene would be instantly followed by Gertrude, in the same white dress, marrying Claudius. By keeping Gertrude in the same costume, the rapid change can be observed by the audience, and allows them to understand Hamlet’s anger towards his mother’s hasty decision to forget her husband and marry his brother. In this scene the separation Hamlet creates for himself from the rest of the characters is important. “A little more than kin, and less than kind” displays Hamlet’s obvious desire to be disassociated. To stage this, I plan to have Hamlet physically separated from...
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