Hamlet Paper-( - Gaurav Singh Mrs Margaret Cain Literary...

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Gaurav Singh Mrs. Margaret Cain Literary Explorations II 19 October 2006 Derailing Stereotypes to Make a Mark When directors are assigned Hamlet , a part of them jumps with joy whereas the other moans with despair. While Hamlet is a fun play to direct, it is hard to make a mark on a play that has been performed for many centuries in almost every imaginable way. To get started, a director needs a bold, daring vision. Staging Hamlet in Middle-Aged India makes the play significantly more interesting. This change in setting surprisingly impacts multiple elements of the play and presents many characters in a new light. To accommodate for this change in setting, a special set and special costumes are needed. Hamlet has a fiery tongue. After he decides against killing Claudius while Claudius prays, he goes into his mother’s chamber. His mother says, “thou has thy father much offended,” (86) and Hamlet replies, “Mother, you have my father much offended.” (86) Indian kids, expected to concede with whatever the parents say, are not allowed to talk back. To make Hamlet’s mistake of talking back to his mother appear extremely egregious to the audience, Gertrude should pause, flash her eyes, and firmly grip Hamlet’s wrist with a look of horror. She should only then continue with, “Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue,” (86) in a stern voice. Hamlet talks back again when he tells Claudius to “send thither to see [Polonius in heaven]. If your messenger find him not there, seek him I’ th’ other place yourself.” (98) Claudius should, while he is inquiring about the location of Polonius’ body, pace back and forth. After Hamlet talks back, he
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should stop, have a menacing look on his face, and flash his eyes at Hamlet. Although having a dramatic pause in both of these situations strongly conveys to the audience that Hamlet’s behavior is unacceptable, having a dramatic pause is not enough; if everything continues as normal after the dramatic pause and flash of the eyes, the audience will feel that the emotions are contrived. After the pauses, other actors should respond to Hamlet in loud, assertive voices to further indicate that everyone believes Hamlet’s behavior is unacceptable. For example, right after Hamlet talks back to Claudius and Rosencrantz inquires about Polonius’ body, Rosencrantz should ask “What have you done, my lord with the dead body” (99) in a stern voice while firmly gripping Hamlet’s wrists and flashing his eyes to tell the audience that Hamlet’s talking back to his father a few lines before was unacceptable. The audience, expecting a more “standard” insane Hamlet, would be surprised to a see a misbehaving Hamlet who is constantly rebuked by his cohorts. While Hamlet’s talking back is unacceptable in Indian culture, he does even
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Hamlet Paper-( - Gaurav Singh Mrs Margaret Cain Literary...

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