Friday, May 16, 2014

Hamlet Act IV

We talk about Hamlet, Act IV. People start dying. I think we're going to do an episode about Polonius Laertes and Ophelia later. Especially considering whether they are necessary to the play.

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1 comment:

  1. Great episode, guys. As to the Gertrude thing, there are a bunch of ways to take it. I don't think any production should make it completely clear what happened but I think the Gertrude actress needs to have a theory.

    In support of the theory mentioned in the episode, you have:

    - the fact that Gertrude "cleans up" Hamlet's killing of Polonius when she conveys it to Claudius;

    - in Act V, all the grief the Priest is giving Laertes about Ophelia being a suicide, right in front of the royal family who ordered the Priest to give her a proper funeral. If things had happened the way Gertrude said, I can't see him daring to do this.

    - Also, according to the speech it kind of sounds like Gertrude just stood there and watched all this happen.

    Based on these my personal theory is that Ophelia just leaped in the river and Gertrude made up the rest, but I don't think any answer is definitive. Another whole theory of Gertrude is that she's just a terrible person, complicit in Hamlet Sr.'s death ("to kill a king and marry with his brother"), and just watched Oph die because she didn't care. Which I don't subscribe to but I think it's valid.