Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hamlet Act II

Act II is a lighter part of Hamlet. More jokes, fewer ghosts. We find out a lot about our characters.

Anne Barton, a Shakespeare critic, recently died, if you want to find some of her writing, try out her page on the New York Review of Books, she's pretty good!

Thanks to everyone out there for all your support, next up is Act III! (Unless someone suggests something else good.)

Just updated the feed. Anyone having issues with downloading the podcast, please try again. Only the latest episode is on the new service, but we will be adding the backlog as space becomes available. Sorry about the difficulties.


  1. Great episode guys! How can you be a Shakespeare fan and NOT have heard about "The Hollow Crown?!?" (pssst... Jeff - it also has Patrick Stewart in it - in the "Richard II" segment).

    Another book that you might be interested in (and possible podcast subject?) was just released - "Shakespeare & Others: Collaborative Plays" which is an update on the old 1908 "Shakespeare Apocrypha" book, which purports to have several plays Shakespeare collaborated on, but which were not included in the first folio. It's published by the Royal Shakespeare Company (no slouches) and contains ten plays with loads of notes and essays. Article about it here:

    I've already yammered on about my favorite Hamlet's in previous posts, so I won't do that again - don't know what films outside the mainstream you have access to, but there's a boatload out there besides the most common ones you mentioned. I'd love to see you dig deeper into the film archives...

  2. Another nice episode guys, nice discussion.

    One error, though, which will become more important in a couple Acts: Fortinbras is the King Of Norway's nephew, not his son (Fortinbras' father, Fortinbras, was killed by Hamlet's father, Hamlet). So like Hamlet he's got nothing but a title, a cause for revenge, and what he can get for himself, and he's therefore an image of what Hamlet might have been like if he'd taken a different path. (Another one is Lucianus, nephew to Gonzago in the play-within-a-play.)

  3. You should definitely check out "The Hollow Crown." It's well-cast and well-photographed, and so exciting. I don't usually enjoy the histories, but I was riveted.

    I just watched "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" and enjoyed it. Tom Stoppard definitely has an off-beat style. I ended up watching it twice, because after the first time, I watched the interviews on the DVD and when they asked Richard Dreyfus what the play was about, he said "Hamlet." I watched it again, and it's true. R&G would not exist if it weren't for Hamlet, and the whole play revolves around the events in Hamlet, just from the point of view of R&G.

    I have been watching different versions of Hamlet and I recommend you watch "Gamlet," which is a Russian production from 1964. I can't say the the acting is exceptional, but the sets and the cinematic style are striking. I especially enjoyed the ghost scene. I know some Russian, so it was fun to hear Hamlet in Russian -- there are English subtitles.

    I did not enjoy Nicol Williamson's version of Hamlet -- he was too laid back. He didn't really seem to care what happened through much of the play. Derek Jacobi was wonderful of course. He really gets into the crazy part. There are still more versions for me to watch!

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  4. I have been listening to these for a while now, and they really clarify a lot and are entertaining. Thanks for your hard work!
    Looking forward to the next one and it is great you keep producing them. I would love to see a Richard III Bardcast in the future.