Marilyn French - To Be Or Not To Be 1942 - Discovering Hamlet & David Tennat TV - Jacob Bronowski TV - Frank Harris - Jonathan Bate - Laurence Olivier TV - The Pure Hell of St Trinian’s 1960 - Rumpole of the Bailey TV - S T Coleridge - C S Lewis - Philip Edwards - Peter Davidson - Nigel Alexander - Stephen Booth - James L Calderwood - Rebecca Smith - Marilyn French - Elaine Showalter - David Leverenz - Catherine Belsey - Leonard Tennenhouse - John Hunt - esias -
First he recounts the overall fact of the murder, and the cover story given out ... And within a few lines, the ghost is attacking not Claudius, but his queen ... And the Claudius we have seen does not seem to be garbage. Marilyn French, Chaste Constancy in ‘Hamlet’
Even Shakespeare couldn’t stand seeing Hamlet three nights in a row. To Be Or Not To Be 1942 starring Carole Lombard & Jack Benny & Robert Stack & Relix Bressart & Lionel Atwill & Stanley Ridges & Sig Ruman & Tom Dugan & Charles Halton & George Lynn & Henry Victor et al, director Ernst Lubitsch, Jack Benny as Joseph Tura
It connects with something very primal. It exists in a kind of public consciousness. This icon of theatre and culture. It is woven into the fabric of our lives. David Tennant on Hamlet, 2009
Every line seems to be a quotation. ibid.
Hamlet is angry and isolated. ibid.
Everyone around him seems to have moved on. ibid.
This play is about a murdered father and his lonely grieving son. ibid.
His eleven year old son died – he was called Hamlet. ibid.
The ghost of his dead father has been seen walking the battlements of the castle. ibid.
The appearance of the ghost becomes the engine of the play. ibid.
This call to arms has come from a ghost. ibid.
He asks, What is the point? ibid.
Hamlet 1990: Give me some light! The King reacts. Hamlet is vindicated ... He is straitjacketed to his own morality. ibid.
Hamlet 1948 Lawrence Olivier. ibid.
As he sees it – her promiscuity. ibid.
Sigmund Freud: Hamlet might actually be in love with his mother. ibid.
How long may a man lie in earth ere he rot? ibid. Hamlet to gravedigger
Eight year ... Nine year. ibid.
This play is so deeply ingrained in our popular culture. David Tennant: My Shakespeare: Hamlet s2e1
We the audience become his confidants. ibid.
Hamlet starts to doubt his mission. Should he trust the ghost? ibid.
Hamlet is at the mercy of the man he loathes ... The King is determined to get rid of Hamlet. ibid.
Hamlet comes face to face with mortality. ibid.
Can he kill a king? ibid.
And then he has that dark side in him which must frighten the audience ... There’s something diabolical in him. Discovering Hamlet with David Tenant, Christopher Plummer, Sky Arts 2012
You can play it violently different ways. ibid. David Tennant
I discovered its importance by doing it. ibid. Jonathan Miller
To have a friend like that would be awful. ibid. Franco Zeffirelli
It’s a deeply interesting story. ibid. Jonathan Miller
He is not ripe for the act he is asked to perform ... The tragedy is not that Hamlet dies, it’s that he dies exactly when he is ready to become a great king. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 13/13: The Long Childhood, BBC 1973
In Hamlet, Shakespeare has revealed too much of himself. Frank Harris, author The Man Shakespeare and His Tragic Life Story 1911
We’re on edge through the play of Hamlet. Professor Jonathan Bate
The tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind. Laurence Olivier, introduction to the 1948 screen adaptation of Hamlet
The final outrage – the Soliloquy [of Hamlet] to striptease. The Pure Hell of St Trinian’s 1960 starring Joyce Grenfell & George Cole & Cecil Parker & Eric Barker & Thorley Walters & Irene Handl & Lloyd Lamble & Nicholas Phipps & John le Mesurier & Basil Dignam & Michael Ripper & Raymond Huntley & Liz Frazer & George Benson & Sid James et al, director Frank Launder, civil servant at school production of Hamlet
Like the two ends of a pantomime horse getting together to play Hamlet. Rumpole of the Bailey s4e6: Rumpole’s Last Case, ITV 1987
Hamlet is brave and careless of death; but he vacillates from sensibility, and procrastinates from thought, and loses the power of action in the energy of resolve. S T Coleridge, Notes and Lectures Upon Shakespeare, 1808
The appearance of the spectre means a breaking down of the walls of the world. C S Lewis
In short he is very human. Now these are the very qualities Hamlet lacks. Hamlet is inhuman. G Wilson Knight, The Embassy of Death: An Essay on Hamlet
They are, in fact, all leagued against him, they are puzzled by him or fear him; he has no friend except Horatio, and Horatio, after the Ghost scenes, becomes a queer shadowy character. ibid.
A poison in the midst of the healthy bustle of the court. He is a superman among men. And he is superman because he has walked and held converse with death. ibid.
Thus Hamlet is an element of evil in the state of Denmark. ibid.
He has indeed bought converse with his father’s spirit at the price of enduring and spreading Hell on earth. ibid.
It is Hamlet who is right. What he says and thinks of them is true, and there is no fault in his logic. ibid.
The twentieth-century view of the play developed as an antithesis to the view which prevailed in the nineteenth century. Philip Edwards, The Tragic Balance in Hamlet
G Wilson Knight’s powerful essay of 1930, ‘The Embassy of Death’ from The Wheel of Fire ... Knight portrayed the Denmark of Claudius and Gertrude as a healthy, contented, smoothly-running community. Claudius is clearly an efficient administrator, and he has sensible ideas about not letting memories of the past impede the promise of the future. Hamlet, by contrast, is a figure of nihilism and death. ibid.
L C Knight’s Approach to Hamlet of 1960 was uncompromising in its hostility to the Prince and his mission. Hamlet is an immature person lacking ‘a ready responsiveness to life’ who is pushed by the Ghost to concentrate on good and evil. ibid.
It is the common currency of Hamlet criticism to deplore, not Hamlet’s failure to carry out his mission, but to the mission itself. ibid.
The idea that Hamlet’s problem is somehow to punish Claudius and yet transcend the sheer human violence and vindictiveness which such punishment entails goes back to 1839 and the once famous but now forgotten ‘conscious’ theory of Hermann Ulrici. ‘It cannot,’ he said, ‘be an entirely innocent and heavenly spirit that would wander on earth to demand a son to avenge his death.’ ibid.
The critical element in this tragic structure is the notion that God is neither absent nor obviously present. If God is dead, or if God is clearly known, the tragedy (Goldman says) cannot exist. The special irony of the tragic hero’s position is that the difficulty of trying to live out what God wants is compounded by the difficulty of knowing what God wants, or even whether He exists. ibid.
The ambiguity of the Ghost is of fundamental importance. ibid.
The only opposition which the individual can make against the mischances of existence is to take his life. No other act can end the sea of troubles. No other act can improve the condition of the world or the condition of its victims. ibid.
If there is a nobleness in continuing to live, it is a nobleness of suffering, not a nobleness of reforming and transforming the world. ibid.