The Hamlet Literary Criticism
Our stage type was the arena. The arena is also known as a theatre in the round, central stage or island stage. Common shapes of the arena stages are a triangle, diamond, rectangle and circle. The theatre in the round became popular in Rome and Greece. It was favored by classical theatre. The first theatre to be built in America was at The University of Washington in 1940. The arena stage is in the center surrounded by the audience on all sides. There is no backstage, so the actors must enter and exit from the audience or from the hallways. This stage is thought to create an intimate closer to the action experience for the audience. Backdrops and curtains cannot be used due to the stage having a 360-degree view. Also, the lighting on stage causes a problem because with the audience is on all sides of the stage, so they must see without being blinded. There is also constant movement on stage so that everyone is the audience has a view but actors with always have their back toward someone for moments at a time.
Claudius and Gertrude interrogate Guildenstern about Hamlets behavior. He didn’t have much to say expect that he was interested in an acting company that was to perform. They asked Rosencrantz how he treated her, and she said like a gentleman. Claudius sends them off, so Polonius and Ophelia can plan the of meeting Ophelia and Hamlet to test whether its Hamlets love for Ophelia that causes his odd behavior. ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN EXIST. Claudius tells Gertrude his plan then tells her leave. ROSENCRANTZ EXISTS. Ophelia then strolls the hall reading a book while they hide nearby to spy on them. Hamlet them appears lost in his thoughts and contemplating suicide. He gives the “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy. So basically, Hamlet asks himself “Is it better to be alive or dead”. He wants to either commit suicide, kill his uncle (Claudius) or even both.
Killing Claudius, the king will result in him dying also. He says that not knowing what comes after death makes him not want to follow through, maybe in fear he will be like his father? Hamlet believes that since no one knows what comes after death is why people tend to deal with “our sufferings so long”, because if we knew then death would be seen as a solution to all problems that we face. He goes on to say that no one will want to deal with “all life’s humiliations”– “the pangs of despised love” which he maybe refers that to his love for Ophelia, he then goes on to say “the law’s delay” maybe referring to himself and the delay to revenge his father’s death– when one can just commit suicide and end everything. Hamlet goes on to say that we rather go on with our struggles because we fear what lies in the afterlife that no one returns from to tell about which makes it a “undiscovered country”.
Hamlet believes the more we think about death the more of a coward we become. During the end of his speech he sees Ophelia and interrupts his thoughts to speak with her. Ophelia attempts to give back gifts that Hamlet has giving her, but he denies that they are from him and that he never loved her. He goes on to talk about the dishonesty of beauty and says that once loved Ophelia and that he never has loved her at all. He comments on the humankind, he urges Ophelia to go the nunnery rather then become a “breed of sinners”. Hamlet then goes on to criticize women for making men act like monsters and for contributing to the worlds dishonesty by painting faces to appear more beautiful than they are. He begins into a rage when he realizes that Ophelia has betrayed him, and they were being watched. Hamlet then begins to criticize Ophelia, women and humankind in general, saying that he wishes to end all marriages.
As he exits in anger, Ophelia mourns the “noble mind” that has now lapsed into madness. CLAUIUS AND POLONUIS ENTERS. They go to Ophelia and are completely shocked. Claudius believes that Hamlets love from Ophelia is not the reason for his madness and because of this he becomes paranoid. Claudius thinks Hamlet may know something and goes on to say, “his sadness is hatching something, like a hen does sitting on a egg. What hatches very well may be dangerous.”(Quote It) . He decides to send Hamlet off to England to ease his mind ofthis madness. Polonius insited that the reason for Hamlets madness is for his love for Ophelia, but agrees with Claudius’s plan. He them suggest that Hamlet and his mother speak to find out the real reason for madness. Claudius agrees and states “When important people start to show signs of insanity, you have to watch them closely.”(quote) THEY ALL EXIST.