Funny video:

Blog post #4
This past week we finished the Hamlet play. I liked watching the different interpretations of the play, it was interesting to see the variations in directing, moods, etc. One particularly interesting difference was the mindset of the queen. In the Mel Gibson version, she drinks the wine looking as if she does it out of suicide. She looks at the king and says "I will drink" in a tone that would convey revenge. (Too bad King, you messed up didn't you?).
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In other versions she seems to drink the wine on accident, dying among Hamlet, Laertes, and later the king.
Do you think the Queen killed herself or died by accident? How would each way affect the dramatic irony of the play?
I will analyze the ending remarks of the Queen:

Queen: He is fat, and scant of breath
Here Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows.
The Queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Hamlet: Good madam!
King: Gertude, do not drink.
Queen: I will my lord, I pray you pardon me. (Drinks)

By saying I pray you pardon me, I believe she is intending that to be sort of a last goodbye, a f*&k in her last minutes. It wasn't well received because shortly after the King is just kind of like: O dang, she's going to die now. The King's pomposity increased exponentially as the play processes... the Queen dying does no rock him emotionally- except for the fact that he is angry that his plan had been foiled. The irony is that that Karma bounces back on him, and Hamlet dies. I love this ambiguity at the end of the play.external image hamlet-mel-gibson-zeffirelli-193.jpg
Blog post #3 "To Be Or Not To Be..."
This week one of the things we focused on was Hamlet's famous "To Be Or Not To Be Soliloquy."

In this soliloquy, Hamlet toils with the idea of whether to kill himself or to not to.

What is the "To Be?" and what is the "Not to be"???

Perhaps the "to be" is to suffer and "not to be" is to end the summer. Or maybe "To be" is to take arms and "not to be" is to put down his arms and give up.
Given the later events of the play, I agree with the later because he does essentially attempt to take up arms in gaining revenge on his uncle.

To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
To die, to sleep--No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.

This is the more mopey portion of the monologue, although I think that at this point he was intending to talk himself into thinking that death is too scary for him at this moment. It's not that he is not cowardly, it's just that he would rather do something about the misery rather than complain about it.

Blog post #2 This past week, one of the things we read was Hamlet's soliloquy, in which he talks about how the world is a wretched place. In his eyes, he is experiencing great adversity. The incestuous wretch that has ruined his family (uncle) his life has become miserable.

I think Hamlet could really have related to this Tribe Called Quest feat. Faith Evans track: "Stressed Out":

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely.

I can sympathize with Hamlet, but I also believe that he could be more proactive. He stews in his own mopeyness, and makes himself even more depressed. Reading this soliloquy I became somewhat disgruntled with his character. However, he does act on this sadness and do something about it. Do you think Hamlet's plan is rational? What would you do in this situation?

I watched the film known as Hamlet 2000... it has Bill Murray playing as Polonius in it... nice.
The entire movie was mostly dismal colors, with red thrown in. Below is Ophelia, who is in red for most of the movie. Red is a major motif in the film, aptly associated with death. She is dressed in red when she drowns herself and Laertes takes a red sword to fight Hamlet.

In terms of my essential question, which is how can reception of reality change our reality? In this film adaptation there is a pretty evident point in which Hamlet seemingly looses touch with reality. After he shows the ironic play, He gets into a cab, and hallucinates hearing "Cat's have nine lives, you only have one, so buckle up." At this point we begin to question his sanity. I think sanity is based on what relationships we have. With this, an important scene is when guru Thich Nhat Hanh is speaking on a television in Hamlet's apartment:

The man on the T.V. is one of many things that occurs on screens. Throughout the film Hamlet is obssessed with watching films and filming things. He is living a life through screens, afraid of facing his own. His reality has become memories, shear clips on a screen, or so he beleives.

In response to the first eleven lines of the play, it is evident that the wording is very different than modern day speech. Instead of saying "It is quiet," They say "Not a mouse stirring."