"Closet" scene : ... and Ghost
2008 -- RG
3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA (907)474-5253
Who is in this yellow silk dress?
The Queen has a face-mask, exer. bike?
Does she love her son? Does she know how to love?
She would love to have Ophelias for a daughter.
Does she know that the wine is posined -- and killing herself?
Both Ghost and Claudius are in the Queen's Closet scene! Reactions? Struggle?
Ghost holds her when she dies, the mother of his son...
SummaryShakespeare @ Amazon
Questions* Monologue Study Pages: PreActing, Biomechanics, Method, BMplus *
Was Hamlet a son of Claudius?
How far the "Gerthrude and Claudius relations" go?
Did Hamlet killed his (real) father? [Oedipus]
The queen should know...
Any "fatherly" feelings in Claudius to Hamlet?
Hamlet is the queen's guilt, sin and shame. Does she love him?
Is it possible that only Gerthrude knows the truth?
Did this thought cross Hamlet's mind ever?
Polonius -- he knows a lot... only with Claudius on the throne Hamlet is prince!
He was born of sin (and the crime against the state)... The judgement on woman is her death? She knew that Hamlet would go to the end until he finds the truth. She knew that wine is poisen. Suicide.
Did she know that Claudius send Hamlet to his death in England?
Did they, husband and wife, talk about it in thier bedroom? Her choice was lover, not son!
"She agrees to no longer share King Claudius' bed, and aids her son by hiding Hamlet's true mental state from King Claudius." * Do you believe it? I don't...
"Dies in Act V, Scene II, to a poisoned cup of wine meant for Hamlet." She should guess what is coming for Hamlet... She did.
... He begs her not to sleep with Claudius again, but although she promises not to tell anyone what he has said, she avoids giving a direct answer. It may be that Gertrude is attempting a practical compromise: she wants to calm Hamlet but cannot bring herself to swear to something she will not be able to do. No clue as to her subsequent sexual relationship with Caludius is given. - Angela Pitt, Shakespeare's Women, David and Charles, London, l981. p. 58f.
-- One feels tempted to suppose that, when he wrote the ghost scene, Shakespeare meant her to have connived at least at her husband's death; that he afterwards changed his mind and thought of her as guilty only of adultery -- perhaps not even that; and that he failed to reconcile the two ideas on the final acting version of the play. - G.F.Bradby, The Problems of "Hamlet, Haskell House, N.Y., 1965. p.21
-- Gertrude's innocence or guilt is not really an issue in the play. She, like Cleopatra, is a character of ambiguous morality whom we can never fully know; but whereas Antony and Cleopatra continually invites our judgment of Cleopatra, Hamlet continually deflects our impulse to judge Gertrude. First of all, we have no firsthand evidence. Although Hamlet sees his mother as a disgustingly sensual creature, the relationship that we see between Gertrude and Claudius is domestic and ceremonial, never sexual at all... The Gertrude that we see -- as opposed to the one that Hamlet imagines -- is her son's mother and a worried, affectionate partner to her husband, who happens to be going through a period of political danger. - Linda Bamber, Comic Women, Tragic Men, Stanford Univ. Press., Stanford, 1982. p.75
-- For political reasons, Polonius is buried secretly, without ceremony, posthaste. And you remember the whole business of Ophelia's burial. There is the discussion of how it is that Ophelia, having most probably committed suicide -- this is at least the common belief -- still is buried on Christian ground. ... - Jacques Lacan, "Desire and the Interpretation of Desire in Hamlet," in Shoshana Felman, Literature and Psychoanalysis, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, 1982. pp.38ff. (Only Queen-Mother knows the cause of Polonius' death!)
-- What I have just said about mourning in Hamlet must not obscure the fact that at the bottom of this mourning, in Hamlet as in Oedipus, there is crime. Up to a certain point, the whole rapid succession, one instance of mourning after another, can be seen as consequences of the initial crime. It is in this sense that Hamlet is an Oedipal drama, one that we can read as a second Oedipus Rex and locate at the same functional level in the genealogy of tragedy. This is also what put Freud, and his disciples after him, onto the importance of Hamlet. - Jacques Lacan,. p.41f.
The Climax & Resolution (act V in class)
Your questions? Your answers?
[ questions for Hamlet in THR215 Fall 2005 class ]
She betrays her son (family), the throne... More important than her husband? Shakespeare POV on history. Is she the most guilty for the downfall of Danmark?
The love story. She is in love with Cladius!
One actress!POLONIUS hides behind the arras Enter HAMLET HAMLET Now, mother, what's the matter? QUEEN GERTRUDE Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended. HAMLET Mother, you have my father much offended. QUEEN GERTRUDE Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. HAMLET Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. QUEEN GERTRUDE Why, how now, Hamlet! HAMLET What's the matter now? QUEEN GERTRUDE Have you forgot me? HAMLET No, by the rood, not so: You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife; And--would it were not so!--you are my mother. QUEEN GERTRUDE Nay, then, I'll set those to you that can speak. HAMLET Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge; You go not till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you. QUEEN GERTRUDE What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murder me? Help, help, ho! LORD POLONIUS [Behind] What, ho! help, help, help! HAMLET [Drawing] How now! a rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead! Makes a pass through the arras LORD POLONIUS [Behind] O, I am slain! Falls and dies (How? Was there a noise before?)
[ Shakespeare Page in script.vtheatre.net ]
From the Forum (character analysis by the actress):
Date: Sat Oct 20, 2001 5:58 am
Subject: Gertrude's Defense
This is Gertrude's defense against all the slander and mud being thrown in her direction lately. Gertrude did not deny Hamlet his place as king by marrying Claudius and here is why. First, she is the seat of power and all follows through her blood line, so whether Old Hamlet lives or dies, she still remains a queen. When Old Hamlet does die, she has no reason to step down for young Hamlet because he is always away at school in Wittenburg. Also, he isn't ready to accept the role of king. He needs to learn the ropes and that requires being around the castle more than he has been of late. Gertrude can expect to live for many more years and is doing a good job so there's no need or reason to have Hamlet step in just now. By choosing to marry Claudius, Gertrude is not denying Hamlet his rightful place. Hamlet is upset about the fact that she has married his uncle, not about the fact that he is not a king. So what is Gertrudes part in this love affair between Claudius and herself? Is she aware that Claudius has murdered her husband? She is no rocket scientist, but she is a queen and quite world wise. It has to at least occur to her that Claudius might have had something to do with Old Hamlet's death. She can have these thoughts and even believe that he is guilty of the crime and still love Claudius.(Let's say since this is a love story between Claudius and Gertrude, that they have loved each other for all these years.) At what point she realizes that Claudius killed Old Hamlet, I'm not exactly sure, but she does learn it sooner or later. Does that make her an accomplice? Yes and no. she didn't physically commit the act, and she didn't plot with Claudius before the murder, but she never stopped loving him and she never discouraged him from loving her back. Indirectly, through her refusal to give him up she has created an unbearable situation for Claudius and a murderous rivalry between two brothers. (By the way, Old Hamlet does know about their feelings for each other as any husband would.) Of course, she doesn't intend to harm anyone, but, when jealousy is involved, all kinds of things can and do go wrong. (A tangent thought, who knows what terrible murder Old Hamlet had in mind for Claudius? Was it a matter of who killed who first?) Now we are back at the question of whether Gertrude is evil. No way, she is human. When two people love each other, especially a long, deep love that won't be denied, social barriers and no-no's get blurred in the face to longing and passion. And, by the way, love like the one between Claudius and Gertrude goes way way way beyond just sex. History is full of fools in love doing all kinds of things everybody disapproves of. Claudius and Gertrude have waited for twenty years to do what they should have done in the first place. However, because they both tried to do the "right" thing, they are finding that it was the wrong thing for them. Now, about dear, dear Hamlet, Gertrude's angry, emotional little boy. Gertrude does love Hamlet and wants the best for him. For her, is isn't a choice between Claudius and Hamlet. She has enough room in her heart for both. Hamlet's injured reaction to his mother marrying Claudius is a classic example of a child who is unwilling to let a parent be human. Gertrude is a mother, yes, but she is also a woman. She is prone to the same foibles and emotions that sometimes make others wonder what we are doing. Love can be one of the strongest, most irrational emotions of all. It is a kind of insanity, and it can make us do any number of seemingly nutty, irrational things. To the ones in love it makes perfect sense at the time. Also, since love "conquers all", lovers don't always have a choice about the things that they do. Hamlet is livid with Gertrude first when he learns about her marriage to Claudius, even before he learns that his father has been murdered. Just the marriage has put Hamlet into such a state that the Ghost coming around easily dangles him from time to time over the brink of complete insanity. Gertrude has done, by marrying Claudius, what she should have done twenty years ago, and her mistake is that she didn't marry Claudius in the first place. She married the wrong guy in order to do the right thing and that never works, it always comes back to haunt a person. So now, for Gertrude, marrying Claudius is nothing but right. After all these years, she finally gets it right. She can't predict Hamlet's reaction, though she may imagine that he'll be upset and need time to get used to the idea. She never dreams that he'll go off the deep end over it. Hamlet is guilty of the very human, very forgivable fault of children unable to see their parents as human beings with feelings and drives and longings and also a fallible. Hamlet can't stand the idea of his mother being swayed into such a bold step by love, and isn't willing to let her love freely. All children go through this at one time or another, and it can be traumatic to realize that at some point, parents stop living for their children and start living for themselves. Hamlet has taken this necessary life lesson very, very badly. This is unfortunate and Gertrude feels for him, but his reaction is all his own and not the fault of Gertrude. Gertrude tries to be understanding and helpful, but Hamlet is so angry he has lost sight of the big picture. Let's face it folks, between changing nappies and graduating college, the cord needs to be cut! When Gertrude realizes how badly Hamlet has taken this new development, and she realizes in the bed chamber scene that her actions have inadvertently caused her son to go crazy, she becomes desperate and depressed. That was not her intention at all to hurt Hamlet. Finally, it must be said that Gertrude does realize that Claudius has murdered Old Hamlet. As upsetting as this is, and dreadfully immoral this is, she still loves Claudius. Imagine- loving a man for so long and being married to his brother. They brush in hallways and steal kisses risking terrible retribution from Old Hamlet, and both are tormented by longing and frustration for twenty years, and then- they are together, no more obstacles, no more big brother Hamlet to keep them apart. Is Gertrude so surprised? No, probably not. Is she loathe to touch Claudius and think he's a terrible person for murdering her husband? Or does she think herself terrible for being a part of the whole affair, even as an incentive? No, she still loves Claudius more than ever. Remember, love is it's own form of insanity, and Gertrude has it bad. Maybe she will visit the fiery furnace, but she is no more guilty than any other person who has loved. Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone. Any volunteers? The turning point for Gertrude is when Hamlet confronts her in the bed chamber. First, she learns that Hamlet is really suffering because of her choice to marry Claudius. Second, after Hamlet kills Polonius, she understands that Hamlet means to kill Claudius and won't let it go. She also knows that Claudius won't go without a fight and that Claudius is at least as tough, if not more so, than Hamlet, and he'll defend himself. So any way she looks at it, Claudius and Hamlet are going to kill each other, regardless of what she says or does. These are men we are talking about here. She can speak to Claudius about Hamlet, and does so, and she can speak to Hamlet. She can't change the past, she can't bring Old Hamlet back to life ( and probably doesn't want to frankly), and she can't prevent Claudius and Hamlet from killing each other. Since the apple rarely falls far from the tree, she may be lapsing into her own brand of dementia. She can't help but be taken into the ever widening spiral of destruction and madness that is now surrounding her family. She has lost control of the situation and lost control of her son. He no longer respects her or listens to her advice. So it isn't so unusual that she acts crazy and drinks the poisoned wine, even if it is an accident. Since when has she been nonchalant about Claudius' advice, since never during the play until now. She doesn't purposely kill herself, though. That was just bad luck, but frankly the torment in store for her if she had lived would probably have been much worse, and she should, I suppose, consider herself lucky it was quick and painless. As far as a final judgement or board or judges telling the cast where they are going to go after they die, here is my closing argument to those folks. Give this family, with exception of Ophelia for she is too good and innocent to be hanging out with these guys anyway, a first class suite in fiery hell with a chance of release to a better place with good behavior. Here is why. How can we not, as fallible human beings ourselves, love this family? They embody and amplify the primal urges, bad thoughts, and nasty quirks we all have deep down inside. who has not at one time or another lusted secretly or even fallen in love with a friend's spouse? How often have we wanted to have something another person has- a nice house, a nice car- even if it is a temporary flash of envy? Even though most of us don't act on all our dark impulses, sometimes we do in varying degrees, and we are all guilty of bouts of temporary insanity if we live long enough. We love these fateful, doomed characters because we recognize a tiny part of ourselves in them. Don't deny it because we all act crazy and make mistakes and say hurtful things once in a while. We are only human after all. So have mercy on this family. In the after life they will be reunited and remember, once they are all dead they can't kill each other anymore. A cushy pillow next to a harp in the clouds isn't in order here, but, hey, who wants to play the harp all the time anyway? Certainly not this crowd. Thanks for listening to my tirade folks! I'm finally finished. Annie
[ Maybe the final fight scene in full? ]
* GODOT.06: Doing Beckett => main stage Theatre UAF Spring 2006 *
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
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