LITERATURE IN ENGLISH II
LAURA CAROLINA VELANDIA
COMMENTARY ABOUT HAMLET
In the following commentary, I will introduce, on the one hand, a brief comparative data from the play “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” by William Shakespeare and film “Hamlet, the honor of revenge” by Franco Zeffirelli..
As regards to analysis of the work itself and the characters I will address various topics, such as: revenge, doubt, fate and ambition. The tragedy of Hamlet, prince of Denmark is probably the most famous theatrical piece of Western culture and one of the most criticized literary works in history. It was written between 1599 and 1601, near the end of the Elizabethan Age into so-called “Problem tragedy”. The play takes place in Elsinore, Denmark, and tells us how Prince Hamlet carries out his revenge on his uncle Claudius who murdered King Hamlet, Prince´s father, and who holds the usurper crown and marriage to Gertrude, Hamlet´s mother. The play takes place vividly over madness (as real as feigned), and the course of deep pain to the excessive anger. Moreover, it explores secondary issues such as treason, incest, and moral conflict. As film opens with the King Hamlet´s funeral and his wife in tears over his grave, the book begins with the talk of the kingdom guards on the ghost of Hamlet´s father. Also, we find differences over the staging of the play on its representation and intentions. However, we can say that both Shakespeare and Zeffirelli focus on Hamlet´s character as representing of a controversial psychology, virtue, intelligence and morality who also lost control of his own will to do the act which he is destined: to avenge death of his father. The fate and change play with lives of characters, as the intrigue and treason become ruthlessly against them:
O villany!–Ho! Let the door be lock’d:
Treachery! seek it out.P.158
As film progresses we see also that the gravedigger scene in it is different than the book, since in film there is no a partner to talk about the death of woman (Ophelia), while in the book suggests that she is committed suicide. The dialogues are faithful to the text but are shorter in the film, some scenes come forward to emphasize the director´s intentions, few others are skipped and replaced by moments of ambience and images, thus creating a different version, so it is evident pain, crime, insanity, death, deceit and usurpation of power. Also in the pantomime there are differences, because during the staging of the small representation into the play itself, the drama presented as a prologue by messenger and entry of actors is masterfully combined. (P.90- min 1.05). Finally, both film and the play ends, one with Hamlet´s death as a main story and the other with the entry of Fontinbras.
The idealistic nature of the political conception of Shakespeare is that he takes to produce in his characters the virtues of a great human being, those virtues which include the psychology of true friends, loyal and closest to the tragic hero and to cover the qualities that a king should have.
However, the Shakespeare´s heroes have an obvious decline at the end of their work because of continued disappointment and unfortunate events by which they traverse. In Hamlet, the fate inevitably overcomes his will, because he denies himself, but is tight cannot be said in another position. On the other hand, the metaphysical intention in Shakespeare develops through his characters, relating to supernatural forces who call them to perform heroic works. In the case of Hamlet, the misfortune is cursed by him to have pointed out with that unwanted fate of having to avenge his father´s death. Hamlet:
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint:–O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right! P.47
Thus, the providential destiny and the natural inclination of the characters to develop and be defeated by their own failings, to make that their weaknesses are insurmountable and, therefore, reflect a continuing struggle against nature, for example: lust in Gertrude, Ophelia's madness, adulation in Polonius, doubt and slowness in Hamlet and Claudius´s ambition. Revenge: it is the moving subject of the action. In Hamlet, revenge becomes transcendental dimensions, as the ghost of his father asks to avenge his death, as it involves cleansing of his soul and the recovery of his honor. But this is not just a social human justice, but divine justice of an eternal character that acts covertly as a fate and that also is based on the moral conception of early Christianity. Thus, Hamlet becomes a minister and executor of a divine will and a transcendental law, which will lead him to doubt and slow in his approach. Doubt: focuses exclusively on Hamlet, and comes in different ways in the work. On the one hand, Hamlet expresses doubt about the identity of the ghost of his father, which leads him to be slow in carrying out his revenge, and the other presents a question about true love and honest after seeing how her mother succumbs to lust and how Ophelia is provided to be a "carrion flesh." Again, on the one hand, denotes an obvious question about life itself and its meaning, and the other, it comprises a doubt over himself about his own reason and sanity. Ambition: it moves to Claudio to commit assassination and fratricide, looking well, access to power. Ambition in Hamlet represents the imbalance and disorder of the play, besides of being this the start of something larger: the decline. Fate: presents various forms, as the inclination of the characters to certain passions and the premonition of death. Osric.
How is’t, Laertes?
Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Osric;
I am justly kill’d with mine own treachery.P.157
Fate here seems forced and inscrutable. The goal is peace, but achieved through war, therefore, to restore balance to pass over the tragic ending of decay and find forgiveness, which can be accessed only by Laertes. Laertes.
He is justly serv’d;
It is a poison temper’d by himself.–
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet:
Mine and my father’s death come not upon thee,
Nor thine on me!
According to my personal interpretation Hamlet's revenge is quite clever, since it comes in two distinct acts: the first includes the play called "The Mousetrap", a little play planed by Hamlet and attended by those involved in the tragedy, it is here that Hamlet is aware of the guilt of his uncle; and the second is the confrontation organized by Laertes that determines the tragic ending of the play in which everyone, including Hamlet, die because of their own poison. However, his revenge leads to Prince to kill Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Laertes, acts that will lead his soul to perdition and eternal damnation. Thus, acts of contrition that is expected to see reflected in the most controversial figures could not be because of the doubt tangle and lies that surrounded them. In conclusion, while Hamlet seems to find an ideal stoic and try to apply it, never get it completely, because his nature prevents it.
[ 2 ]. Dianne, Bean. “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” by Shakepeare, William. Converted to text PDF by firstname.lastname@example.org [ 3 ]. De Madarriaga, Salvador. “El Hamlet de Shakespeare”. Ensayo de interpretación, traducción y notas. Edición Bilingue. Ed. Suramericana. Buenos Aires. 1989.