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'By Examination of Hamlet's Soliloquies, Explore some of the Challenges and Opportunities likely to

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Introduction

'By Examination of Hamlet's Soliloquies, Explore some of the Challenges and Opportunities likely to be encountered by a 21st Century Director of the play.' Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet is a revenge tragedy because it deals with certain universal and also serious themes such as suicide, murder and incest. It also fits into this genre of literature because it uncovers the death of the central character. These matters, as well as the presence of religion were dominant in people's lives in this era and they would react to them because of the dominance they had in their daily lives. A modern audience would also be seen to react because the themes are still relevant to them today. It must be noted that the play was written 70 years before the Reformation, and the dominant theme, religion played a major part in people's lives. The idea for 'Hamlet,' thought to originate from the Scandinavian legend 'Beowulf' and the 'Historia Danica' shows some evidence that Shakespeare was influenced by the works of Thomas Kyd and Fran�ois De Belleforest as they all contain similarities. The Classical dramatist, Seneca arguably had one of the greatest impacts upon the development of this particular tragedy. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet's belittling comments passed about women would still be deemed as unacceptable. Much like Renaissance thinkers, a modern audience would also feel more able and willing to question the church's teachings, as religion is no longer the dominant focus in many people's lives as it was in the Middle Ages. The audience may be able to show a degree of empathy with Hamlet as the play was written in a slightly satirical manner and shows that he is very much human in his qualities and this first soliloquy is crucial in identifying this through a persistent melancholy tone. A modern director could go to great lengths to emphasise this mood in the way that he controlled the actor's position and body language on stage. The short but detailed soliloquy in Act One Scene 5 is perhaps a clarification of the preceding scene where the ghost has just finished speaking to Hamlet; some may choose to believe that this is his conscience communicating with him. He now has just a very tenuous grasp on his sanity and his despair is apparent because of his grief. The monarch was the supreme ruler in Elizabethan society and was an authoritative figure for the whole of society, so Hamlet decides that if Claudius can maintain his smug fa�ade, even after he has murdered the King, then Hamlet should be capable of doing the same with his revenge. ...read more.

Conclusion

He asks the question 'Who would fardels bear... but that the dread of something after death' and he convinces himself more and more that he is making the right decision to take his own life, whilst also considering the drawbacks. Both audiences would find this quite harrowing and a director would have to take care to take a perceptive approach. 'A sea of troubles' provides the audience with a metaphorical visual image of everything in the world so overwhelming and having everything and everyone he loved and trusted turn against him. Many hidden meanings are left for the audience to unravel for themselves. These are presented through metaphors, euphemisms and other ambiguities. 'The undiscovered country' is a euphemism for death; life as seen as a continuous journey and death will never have been explored by any human that is living 'No traveller returns.' Hamlet does not forget that death is final; it is forever, and this establishes his characteristically detached state further. Hamlet is pensive, reflective whilst remaining analytical. The flat tone the director would allot signifies his dejected, flat state of mind. The soliloquy, in some ways lacks a certain passion that other soliloquies have. The three main characters (Gertrude, Claudius and his father / the ghost) fail to get a mention and instead he tends to use his genuine feelings and concentrate on his awry situation. ...read more.

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