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579645.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:04 pm Reply with quote

I remember being told in drama class years ago that Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was the first play ever written about two minor characters in another play. Not sure if that is true, but it could be.

579929.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:23 am Reply with quote

Gaazy wrote:
I still think this short version of the play is a great introduction to the Prince of Denmark for kiddies.

Indeed. Also you could skip Beckett and just let them watch Derek & Clive.

579932.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:47 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
Somebody, possibly Mark Twain, wrote that: "Shakespeare was no great writer, he just strung together a lot of quotations."

Twain particularly like to make fun of Shakespeare Historians. He was of the opinion that Shakespeare didn't exist at all.

Mark Twain wrote:
How curious and interesting is the parallel--as far as poverty of biographical details is concerned--between Satan and Shakespeare. ...They are the best-known unknown persons that have ever drawn breath upon the planet.
- "Is Shakespeare Dead?"

Here is an amusing novella about the whole subject.

579951.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:19 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Gaazy wrote:
I still think this short version of the play is a great introduction to the Prince of Denmark for kiddies.

Indeed. Also you could skip Beckett and just let them watch Derek & Clive.

I'd just like to make it clear that I was just kidding about the kiddies. On no account allow them to access the link, unless they're already foul-mouthed, in which case I can't see it would do much harm...

579956.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:24 am Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
FOOL: ... The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
KING LEAR: Because they are not eight?
FOOL: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
["King Lear," Act I, Scene V]

There should have been a "fool" thread in the F series. I suppose we'll just have to wait for it to come round again.

Is that not fool as in Jester (one for the J thread perhaps)?

Curious Danny
580354.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:08 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Curious Danny wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:

Both Hamlet and Brutus mean 'the stupid one', there is a similarity between the ancestor of the Brutus of Julius Caesar and Hamlet in that both he and Lucius Junius Brutus escaped death after the murder of their fathers by pretending to be fools not worth killing.

Shame that didn't work as Hamlet is sent to England to be executed after, through the accidental killing of Polonius, he shows himself to be anything but a harmless fool.

The key word being pretending.

"I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw."

Hamlet, Act II, scene ii

The key word actually being escaped - Hamlet didn't.

580356.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:10 pm Reply with quote

He wasn't executed in England, either.

Curious Danny
580382.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:44 pm Reply with quote

But he didn't escape death - practically no major character apart from horatio does.

Sadurian Mike
580392.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:03 pm Reply with quote

The series of Hamlet adverts was amongst the funniest pf UK ads.

580409.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:21 pm Reply with quote

Curious Danny wrote:
The key word actually being escaped - Hamlet didn't.

The whole premise of the play pretty much is that Hamlet knows his path to be self-destructive but continues anyway and he is still the last of those whose life is in danger to die, his revenge complete. Even Ophelia buys it, a victim of his choice to avenge his father; otherwise presumably Hamlet and Ophelia would have been King and Queen eventually in their turn. Hamlet wins on his own terms and along the way escapes death at the hands of the English King.

580629.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:10 pm Reply with quote

Has anybody seen Hamlet 2, the rather stupid film with Steve Coogan? It wasn't very good, though some bits were quite funny, such as the time machine and Jesus.

581085.  Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:15 pm Reply with quote

Only you apparently.

581129.  Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:57 pm Reply with quote

Indeed. It's worth watching, if only for the "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" musical number.

King of Quok
590311.  Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:43 pm Reply with quote

I wonder if there's any mileage in asking someone to quote the famous soliloquy, but wrongfooting them with the so-called bad-quarto version, which begins:

To be, or not to be; ay there's the point,
To die, to sleep, is that all? Ay, all:
No, to sleep, to dream; ay, mary there it goes...

Hamlet is also notable for having produced one of the all time greatest flop musicals on Broadway, Rockabye Hamlet in 1976. Written by Cliff Jones, it lasted all of seven performances (in addition to twenty one previews and a Canadian tour). It featured Beverly d'Angelo as Ophelia (who commiteed suicide by throttling herself with a microphone flex) and Meat Loaf as the Priest. The songs included (predictably) "He Got It In The Ear" and "Something Is Rotten In The State of Denmark", as well as the annoyingly catchy "Last Blues" for the expiring Gertrude.

Hamlet's other excursions into musical theater and film have been fairly limited; his only other salient appearance was in the song "Hamlet" by Frank Loesser in the film musical Red, Hot And Blue, in 1949. Betty Hutton, playing a vulgar but enthusiastic chorine sings the song which recounts the plot of Hamlet in four minutes and includes such lines as "yes he bumped off her father, just to teach the girl a lesson / He diced him up in pieces like a pound of delicatessen" about Polonius' murder, and "a Great Dane, he was dream-boy; / But like a hole in the head, Denmark needed this prince" about the eponymous hero.

590469.  Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:43 am Reply with quote

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Hamlet. I've read Romeo and Juliette, Julius Caesar and Macbeth, but only Hamlet ever stuck with me.

I think it does have a lot to do with Hamlets soliloquy-there is something about the inner conflict that he goes through...that everyone eventually faces: Do you fight your troubles or just go with the flow? Many people regard it as him talking about committing suicide-but I think Hamlet realized that if he went forward with his plan, it wold end in his own death.

So the question becomes: Do you act to right a wrong knowing it is your death or do you refrain, allowing injustice to prevail but live a longer life?


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