William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

2205 words - 9 pages

William Shakespeare's Hamlet

In this essay I will be examining Act 1 Scenes 4 and 5 of the play
'Hamlet', imagining I am the director of the play. Hamlet was written
by William Shakespeare between 1600 and 1605. The purpose of me doing
this is to try and understand the dramatic effect of the scenen and in
doing this, explaining how I would portray this to the audience. I
will explain what dramatic effects I will use including how I will
have the characters speak and move, the stage design, sound and
lighting, effects and costume among other things.

To help me do this I need to understand the importance of the scene
and in order to do this, it is essential to establish it's context
within the play. In the play, Hamlet's father recently passed away and
his father's brother Claudius has become the new king of Denmark,
marrying Hamlet's mother in the process. In Act 1 Scenes 4 and 5 the
ghost of Hamlet's father appears to him on the battlements of the
castle and takes him away to inform him that it was Claudius who
murdered him to take the throne and that it was Hamlets position to
even the odds. Then follows the rest of the play in which Hamlet fakes
insanity to kill Claudus and get away with it but unfortunately causes
the death of many others he didn't wish to die.

We learn a lot in this scene which proves why it is so important. We
learn about the poor state of Denmark after the previous kings death,
lines such as 'they clepe us drunkards' and 'makes us traduc'd and
tax'd of other nations' show us how other countries view Denmark with
scorn and disgust. We learn that the ghost is Hamlet's father the
previous king and that he was not killed by a 'serpent' as everyone
was informed originally but that he was murdered by Claudius, his
brother. What's worse is that Hamlet's mother was unfaithful to his
father with her brother-in-law before his father was killed as well as
discovering how he was actually murdered.

These events, lead Hamlet to swear to avenge his fathers death, 'haste
me to know't, that I with wings as swift as meditation or thoughts of
my love may sweep to my revenge'. This then sets the scene for the
rest of the play, without the revelations of this scene the whole play
would have no purpose, making it such a very deep, important scene. As
this scene is so important - it is vital that I express it to the
audience as dramatically as possible. I will first concentrate on how
I will have the characters speak and move.

In the first lines, Shakespeare tries to create a tense, nervous
atmosphere. He does this with the use of short, snappy lines, they
talk about the weather and the time - subjects which distract them and
bear no relevance to the reason they're there because they are edgy
and nervous: 'the air bites shrewdly, it is very cold', 'I think it
lacks of...

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