Hamlet

in History

Hamlet is considered one of the greatest plays in the world. The play was written by William Shakespeare between 1599 and 1601. The play was basically set in the Kingdom of Denmark and it recounts how Prince Hamlet revenged on his uncles for the murder of King Hamlet, the father to Prince Hamlet. This play charts the course for the real madness that is constructed by overwhelming grief and rage. It mainly explores different themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption in the society.

Due to the influence of this play, it has been produced by different theatre and film producers, with most of them winning awards of excellence in production. One of the basic ways in which Hamlet has been reproduced now and again has been through the use of Tudorstyle production. This style has followed meticulous choice of scenery, costumes, and properties, making it appear like the play is set in the actual time when it was written. The main essence of play production is to ensure that the audience gets a glimpse of the situation as it was during the actual time the play was written.

For production done in any period of time, the overriding principle of set design for Hamlet must derive from Hamlet’s lamenting the fact that time is out of joint. This idea has been picked and developed more and more in the play and it seems to be advocated by different producers. The idea is taken up again and again by Hamlet as can be seen in different scenes in the play. For example, when he complains that all occasions do against him, when he orders opening soliloquy, when he cannot resolve any misgiving he has regarding this father’s death his mother’s hasty marriage.

The basic idea behind the production of this play should be to bring out the real feeling of Hamlet. It should be geared towards showing the audience that although Hamlet is acting arrogantly and bluntly, he has the reason to do so. The producer should show the audience that there is something wrong that is going on in Denmark which would be another way of showing them that things are not the way they should be.

One of the particular production that can be considered as a real interpretation of the play is the production by Seattle Shakespeare Company (Rankin). In their production the company has avoided trite staging and has emphasized the forcefulness of the characters even as they play their weakness. The reigning king is portrayed as masterful and cruel. On the other hand, his nephew, Hamlet, is gloomy, nearly friendless, and not sure of his duties. He struggles to preserve the memory of his murdered father and end up screwed in vengeance.

One of the scenes that I would like to produce again in Hamlet is the first scene. The introduction of a play is important to keep the audience glued to what will happen in the play. However, most of the production has taken literary the same approach to the first scene. There is lack of genius creativity in connecting with the audience. Being the introduction to the play, the first scene should be forceful and should prepare the audience for what should happen in the whole play. In most production, the first scene just shows the exchange of duty between watchmen but it does not dig into the details of what will happen in the play (Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark). As the guards narrate what has been happening in the kingdom for the past two days after the death of King Hamlet, they don’t show any anticipation of what may happen in the future. Therefore, as a real interpretation of the play, the first scene should be produced to prepare the audience or to act as transition from the dead king to a new king and subsequent conflict that will come later in the play. I would therefore produce the first scene in a way that it acts as a bridge between what has happened and what is expected to come.

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This article was published on 2012/03/30