Hamlet by William ShakespeareAmong Shakespeares plays, Hamlet is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Oscar-winning film Henry V, gather here to perform the rarely heard complete version of the play. This clear, subtly nuanced, stunning dramatization, presented by The Renaissance Theatre Company in association with Bbc Broadcasting, features such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Christopher Ravenscroft. It combines a full cast with stirring music and sound effects to bring this magnificent Shakespearen classic vividly to life. Revealing new riches with each listening, this production of Hamlet is an invaluable aid for students, teachers and all true lovers of Shakespeare - a recording to be treasured for decades to come.
Critique of the play Hamlet Essay
Introduction to Horatio in Hamlet Horatio's role in the play is minor and most critics agree that he is not developed beyond a character foil for the great Prince. However, Horatio serves two purposes central to the drama, and it is through these purposes that we can best discuss those qualities that make Horatio memorable. Horatio is our harbinger of truth. It is through Horatio that the actions taken by Hamlet and other characters gain credibility. He is the outside observer to the madness. Hamlet could soliloquize to no end, but it is his conversations with Horatio that ground the play in reality. Horatio believes Hamlet and thus we have permission to believe.
Hamlet — both the character and the play in which he appears — is deeply concerned with performance. In his very first scene, Hamlet polices the boundaries between performance and reality. Seems, madam? These indeed seem, For they are actions that a man might play, But I have that within which passes show, These but the trappings and the suits of woe. Indeed, even his own sincere demonstrations of sadness are compromised because it would be easy to feign them. However, the tragedy complicates any easy moral distinctions between acting and authenticity.
Upon the character of Hamlet depends the interest of the play of Hamlet. Take the word "character" in whatever sense one will--the psychological or the technically dramatic--it is one that cannot be left out of the play. To Goethe it was clear that Shakespeare intended to exhibit the effect of the sense of a great duty imposed upon a soul unable to perform it: an oak tree is planted in a china vase, proper only to receive the most delicate flowers; the roots strike out, and the vase flies to pieces. All his obligations are sacred to him, but this alone is above his powers. An impossibility is required at his hands--not an impossibility in itself, but that which is so to him. Saint-Marc Girardin.