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

In this essay I will be examining Act 1 Scenes 4 and 5 of the play 'Hamlet'

Extracts from this document...


Nathan Beck Hamlet In this essay I will be examining Act 1 Scenes 4 and 5 of the play 'Hamlet', imagining I am the director of the play. Hamlet was written by William Shakespeare between 1600 and 1605. The purpose of me doing this is to try and understand the dramatic effect of the scenen and in doing this, explaining how I would portray this to the audience. I will explain what dramatic effects I will use including how I will have the characters speak and move, the stage design, sound and lighting, effects and costume among other things. To help me do this I need to understand the importance of the scene and in order to do this, it is essential to establish it's context within the play. In the play, Hamlet's father recently passed away and his father's brother Claudius has become the new king of Denmark, marrying Hamlet's mother in the process. In Act 1 Scenes 4 and 5 the ghost of Hamlet's father appears to him on the battlements of the castle and takes him away to inform him that it was Claudius who murdered him to take the throne and that it was Hamlets position to even the odds. Then follows the rest of the play in which Hamlet fakes insanity to kill Claudus and get away with it but unfortunately causes the death of many others he didn't wish to die. ...read more.


Say what is this? Wherefore? What should we do?' are short, direct questions. These should be delivered without taking breath - not waiting for an answer, this should show the audience how bewildered and panicked he is. I would have Hamlet follow offstage after the ghost to get ready to be on the lower part of the stage for the next scene. I would have Horatio and Marcellus try to follow after him but stop before the edge of the curtain for a few seconds to discuss whether to follow Hamlet before leaving the stage after Hamlet. This part of the stage will then fade into black as a soft earie light appears on the lower, wooded part of the stage with more dry ice to create an earie scene, then Hamlet and the ghost appear onstage. I would have the ghost speak at a moderate speed so as not to bore the audience but to maintain the effect of the ghost. I would have him speak quite low but not too cliche of ghosts. I would have him speak quite monotone and with laboured breath - as if he is weak and tired, with many large intakes of breath. I would have him wearing robes fit for a king - but no crown to signify his loss of leadership. His clothes will be grey and covered in dust or some grey flour which should give off small clouds of dust when he moves. ...read more.


As the ghost talks about his brother I may have a low chord progression played on an instrument such as the violin to give a eerie, minor sound to increase the power of the scene. But the overall effect I wish to achieve through all this - the costume, lighting, scenery and props, sounds, music and how the characters generally act is for the scene to seem as dramatic and powerful as possible. The supernatural plays a key element in Hamlet, therefore it is important to understand how it was relevant to the time Shakespeare was writing. Firstly - at this time there was still a great belief in the supernatural. Witchcraft was punishable by death and in general people were intruiged by it. Therefore it made itmore appealing and popular to audiences. Secondly, James I was very interested in whichcraft and the supernatural. The king was also Shakespeares patron. Therefore it was in Shakespeares interest to include elements that James liked, to ensure that his patronage continued. The third reason relates to the death of his son - Hamnet. He died in 1596 and Hamlet was written between 1600 and 1605. After his son's death, Shakespeare became slightly obsessed with life and death. It was at this time that the darker tradgedies were written. Shakespeare used the ghosts to express his opinion that communication could take place between the living and the dead. It is no coincidence that Hamnet is so similar to Hamlet. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Hamlet Essay

    3 star(s)

    She is agreeing with her new husband, that Hamlet is upset over Ophelia. However, she might be too weak to say anything that her husband might not agree with. Claudius has Gertrude wrapped around his finger so it is hard for her to show Hamlet that she really cares about him, but she does.

  2. Ophelia Essay

    This gives the audience the impression that she has died. Could this be the reason for Laertes' reaction to the situation Ophelia is in? If he has no experience of love himself does he feel that Ophelia should also live the way he does?

  1. Exploring Hamlet's state of mind(Act 1, Scene 2 - Act 1, Scene 5)

    Why ,right, you are in the right. And so without more circumstance at all I hold it fit that we shake hands and part, You, as your business and desire shall point you - For every man hath business and desire, Such as it is - and for my own

  2. "Spirit of health or goblin damned?" How do we understand the ghost in Act ...

    This monolsyllabic quotation is very lucid due to the alliteration, yet the imagery is enforced through the carefuly selected lexis. The ghost's use of language at times peaks with emotion, as is shown through repetition: "List, list, O, list!" Through exclemations such as this Shakespeare portrays the torture of purgatory,

  1. Hamlet Act 3 scene 4

    Also the portrayal of Italians is that they are very religious and that they tend to be Catholics, so the religious aspect of this scene (trying to pray and having the need to be forgiven by god) would fit in with my version and Shakespeare's.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Hamlet, his moods and motivations, through his soliloquies in Act ...

    "...What is a man If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed..." Hamlet argues that God gave humans reason and it is their duty to use it. Thinking and making moral choices is what distinguishes men from animals.

  1. Hamlet Act 3 Scene 4.

    I was killed i'th'Capitol. Brutus killed me. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there." Here he mocks Polonius by calling him a calf or fool and he adds the punning on Brutus, brute and Capitol, capital so this is a cruel joke of idiocy on Polonius.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Convey a Sense of Anomie in Hamlet Act 1, and to ...

    The fact that the king's souls is walking the earth cold mean that he died before he had a chance to repent his sins, or that he was killed and is seeking revenge or justice. Horatio says to the ghost "If thou art privy to thy country's fate, which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak!

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