Something Funny


Please don't judge me. I know the title is offensive. It's still the funniest thing I've ever seen.


Hamlet Blog #4: To Be or Not To Be A Very Dead Family 2/19/2012


Yay, it's over! Everyone died! We can all rejoice in the glory of Poland and King Fortinbras!
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These ladies know what's up.


Now that that's over, I'd like to dive in to the last scene a little bit more in depth, specifically Gertrude's role in it.
Gertrude is totally chill with her son fighting Laertes. I guess that's understandable, duels were pretty common back in the day. But the thing that does not make any sense to me is her poisoning. Was it intentional? Was it unintentional? Is she just a dingbat wino aching to drink anything within three feet of her?
I think we have to look at it from two sides: did she know the cup was poisoned, or not.
If she did, then her drinking from it could be interpreted as a way to save Hamlet by letting him know that the wine was poisoned (although, telling him could have worked fine) or it could have been a way to let the entire court know that Claudius was a murderer (again, could have been done with words). If she didn't know, as most of the movies have assumed, then she either could be pretending to be joyful so as not to alarm Claudius or she actually could just be a ridiculous woman who has no qualms sleeping with her husband's murderer.
Either way, her dying words of "No, no, the drink, --O my dear Hamlet,-- The drink, the drink! I am poison'd," are a little ridiculous. Yes, yes, it is Shakespearean and so the drama factor is necessary, but is it really necessary to point out how you're dying, as you're dying, unless it has some other purpose? (Purposes could include some of the motives listed before, or others). I wouldn't just exclaim, "No, no, the flames, --O my dear Cletus,--The flames, the flames! I am burned alive," unless I was really trying to get Cletus to notice I was being burned alive so he could save himself or attack whoever set me on fire. For some reason, Gertrude's dying words make it so it's almost impossible for me to take her seriously, even though her death is supposed to be dramatic and sad and whatnot.

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She's even ashamed of her own dying line


Hamlet Blog #3: To Be or Not To Be Suicidal 2/11/2012


We've finally gotten to the point where To Be or Not To Be is actually relevant! Yaaaaay! In Hamlet's famous second soliloquy, he weighs reasons to live against his will to die, and decides that the only thing stopping him from ending his life is not knowing what would happen if he killed himself. Really, Hamlet? That's the only thing you have going for you? I'm going to give you two lists of pros and cons, Hammy, and we'll see how rational you're being.

First, the list from the soliloquy:

Pros (of death)

  • Life is like being shot with arrows
  • Death is like comforting sleep
  • Life is chaos
  • Life is torture
  • Life has unrequited love, proud people, and injustice
  • Living people are selfish
  • Life is hard
  • Life is like being constantly sick

Cons

  • Death is unsure/ might not be all that great

Next, a list of the pros and cons of Hamlet's life:

Pros

  • He's a freaking prince
  • Hot girlfriend
  • Rich
  • Educated
  • Caring friends
  • Beloved by his people

Cons

  • Dad murdered (Hey, one step closer to the throne, right?)
  • Mom's a wee bit of an incestuous trollop
  • Girlfriend's dad and brother don't really approve of your relationship (But they change their minds...)


Now, come on. People have dealt with their Daddy and Mommy issues without killing themselves. If the only reason not to die was that we are unsure of what the afterlife will bring, do you really think there would be as many people as there are in the world? Of course not! People would be dropping like flies if we all thought like Hamlet. What Hamlet needs is to take a couple Prozac and re-assess his life. It's really not so bad.
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Hamlet Blog #2: To Listen To A Ghost? 2/5/2012


When Hamlet (Jr) encounters the ghost, he learns of the real means of his father's murder. The ghost tells him to get revenge for this "murder most foul". In connection with our essential question, I'd like to examine how this scene gives Hamlet the power to kill Claudius, guilt free, and how he deals with that. Obviously, the question of whether the ghost is real or not comes into play, but seeing as pretty much every other class period is blogging about that, I'm just going to assume for the moment that he is.

So, Hamlet gets a freebie kill on his uncle. You think he'd be psyched, right? I mean, he spent the previous scenes whining about how horrible his uncle and mom were for getting married so soon. However, there's like four more acts until any intentional murder goes down. Hamlet spends close to forever deciding whether it is his right to play God and end his uncle's life, and goes into a pretty creepy internal mind state, as evidenced by the film versions we've seen.

The question I'd like to pose is, if you were Hamlet, would you need the scenes upon scenes of brooding time to figure out if you should avenge your father? Or would you just go for it, because well, a pretty terrifying ghost ordered you to?
For me personally, I'd like to say that I would go balls to the wall crazy on Claudius. But in reality, it would probably send me into a crazy, four act long guilt-spiral as well.

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Love these Hamlet memes.

Hamlet Blog #1: To Kill Your Bro...Or Not? 1/29/2012


So, truth is, our essential question, "To be or not to be? Who decides who has the right to live?..." etc., isn't exactly easy to apply to the scenes we read in class. However, the movie clips of Claudius's speeches are way more relevant, so I will focus on them. In every clip, Claudius is super stoked about being king. The queen varies from happy to sad, but he is consistently ecstatic that his brother is dead, of course making us assume he murdered his own brother. And for this, the audience instantly sides with Hamlet. However, looking back on history, there were many beloved rulers who killed their family members in order to take the throne. In fact, it's down right common. Admittedly, most didn't marry their brother's lady, but I digress. Who are we to judge Claudius for his actions when we admire other leaders who had to kill to reach power? Perhaps he was justified in a way that the perspective doesn't allow us to see. Maybe Claudius saw himself as a better ruler, or Hamlet's dad was beating up Hamlet's mom? Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of killing siblings. But I do think that everyone has a motive, and maybe Claudius's was more than power.

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I mean, just look at that smile.