• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How would you direct Act 3, Scene 4 of Shakespeare's Hamlet? Look closely at characterisation, plot, stagecraft, and themes. Explain all of your choices by making close reference to the text.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How would you direct Act 3, Scene 4 of Shakespeare's Hamlet? Look closely at characterisation, plot, stagecraft, and themes. Explain all of your choices by making close reference to the text. Hamlet is a play that has proved successful throughout the years. This type of play is known as a revenge tragedy, which was particularly popular in Shakespeare's time. It also appealed to all social classes, since there was murder as well as sexual innuendoes for the lower classes and reference to the Gods for the upper classes. A typical revenge tragedy contained five sections; exposition; anticipation; confrontation; delay; completion. There were also standard themes, which included: a melancholy and hesitating avenger; a villain who was to be killed by revenge; plotting; murders; madness; a ghost who calls for revenge; the death of the avenger. Hamlet, being a revenge tragedy, contains most of these points. Hamlet is a melancholic play about a son, Hamlet, avenging his father's unlawful murder, also named Hamlet, which was committed by his own brother, Claudius. Who then married Old Hamlet's wife, Gertrude, after a few weeks of his death. And as Hamlet says "You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife, and would it were not so, you are my mother". There are two quotes that sum up the play. "All is not well, I doubt some foul play"(Act 1 Scene2) ...read more.

Middle

However Branagh most probably did it this way to show the aggression building up in Hamlet and also reinforcing the idea that it could be the king. What shocks people the most is the fact that Hamlet did not even think about killing him, he just did it. This may be because he had just seen Claudius and still had the anger and hatred inside him and he did not really care who it was as long as he had killed someone. He could have thought it was Claudius as he says later "I took thee for thy better." Hamlet had the extra aggression building up as he felt that Gertrude must not trust him or otherwise why would she have Polonius spying on them. All through the scene Hamlet is very aggressive this can be shown in his facial expressions. In all three films Hamlet is portrayed as being very forceful to his mother and in Zeffirelli's film he is depicted as having sexual feelings towards his mother as he is shown thrusting on top of her. This is known as an Oedipus complex, where Hamlet unconsciously desires his mother in a sexual manner, and is extremely jealous of Claudius as not only did he inherit the crown but his mothers bed. This may also make him unable to commit in a loving relationship with Ophelia. Gertrude becomes shocked at what Hamlet has just done "Oh me, what hast thou done?" here she stands in shock. ...read more.

Conclusion

The lights dim all is quiet and all that is heard is the rain and the scene will end with a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. This scene prepares us for what is to come as it gives us an insight into what Hamlet is capable of. Additionally this is the first time a murder has taken place besides King Hamlet's murder. This scene contains so many emotions that it is practically a play itself. I believe that the Branagh production worked the best as there was much more emphasis on the important parts of the scene although there was too much violence when killing Polonius. Also Gertrude does more to get away from Hamlet in this film than the others do as she turns away much more when he talks to her about Claudius and her failure to control her sexual feelings. His production also had more emotion to it and showed what was happening much more clearly. This play has proved so popular through the ages as it contains something for everyone, as it ranges from romance to murder. Furthermore everyone can relate to it as it has many components of real life situated within the play, this made it, and made it stay so popular. There is also much more room to interpret the script so every time you see Hamlet performed by a different company you can be assured that you will get a new play each time. Ava Alamdari 10NC/10YE1 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the way Shakespeare presents the relationships between Hamlet and his Mother, Gertrude, making ...

    4 star(s)

    When the queen says, "come, come" Hamlet will reply, "Go, Go". Most of Shakespeare's plays at the time would have been very much aural, as people below the stage could not see the action happening upon the stage. Hamlet storms into the room, and approaches her with an almost violent

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the "loving mother-son" relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet, with focus on language.

    4 star(s)

    when he tells her that she understands her actions to be wrong: O Hamlet, speak no more: Thou turn'st my very eyes into my soul, And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct (III.iv.88-91)

  1. Write a Critical Analysis on Hamlet Act 3 Scene 4

    at this point - and sets the basis for the reader to assume that on some level, he may be ill at the mind. However, from this brutal act I can only assume that he was incensed due to Gertrude's stubborn actions.

  2. Critical review of 'Hamlet'

    The reason for Hamlet's behaviour is obviously due to an argument that has angered Hamlet greatly coupled with him not wanting to kill the King at this precise moment. At the moment the death of Polonius is revealed to Hamlet he shows no remorse for the father of the girl he claims to have loved.

  1. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    Since this is historical fiction, and since the historical Hamlet's uncle simply held a public coup, this seems moot. Matrilineal descent is known among some primitive people in our own century, and is attested to by ancient writers on various cultures.

  2. How does Shakespeare use language to describe Claudius as a villain?

    In some ways, Claudius exhibits more heroism than Hamlet. He manipulates fortune and he takes what is not rightfully his, but he remains unapologetic for his actions; he possesses enough strength to admit that he would do the same again.

  1. In Act two, everyone notices a change in Hamlet because he has began his ...

    is led to believe. Having failed in his efforts to have Hamlet executed in England, the King is now playing on Laertes to seek revenge. Hamlet seems to acknowledge the vengeful feelings of Laertes but does not appear to feel responsible for murder.

  2. Criticism on Hamlet

    phraseology is to be changed as words grow uncouth by disuse, or gross by vulgarity, the history of every language will be lost; we shall no longer have the words of any authour; and as these alterations will be often unskilfully made, we shall in time have very little of his meaning.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work