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  1. #21
    Im ready for my closeup.. Tallulahbaby's Avatar
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    I enjoy A Midsummers Nights dream as well. I like the Tempest and King Lear too.
    But Merchant of Venice is my absolute favorite!
    Coco Magdalena made her debut Sept 2, 2006 7lbs 1oz!!!

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  2. #22
    FORT Fogey
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    The language is absolutely stunning. He was a master at word play. I think that every time I reread a play, I catch twists, double entendres, and word plays that I did not catch before. One of my favorite quotes? When Mercutio says "Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man." For some perverse reason, it cracks me up every time. And call me a sucker, but I love the Hamlet soliloquy--"To be or not to be etc, etc, etc." Beautiful.

  3. #23
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    And call me a sucker, but I love the Hamlet soliloquy--"To be or not to be etc, etc, etc." Beautiful.
    Not at all Scarlett, I think that's one of the more brilliant things he has written. He shows such understanding of human nature - that our fears hold us back from leaving a bad situation (I don't see it as a discussion about dying literally, btw, but the fear we have about leaving the past behind and instead move to new ventures).

  4. #24
    Embracing the Inner Geek museumguy's Avatar
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    Its a great and clever passage..to those not paying enough attention it is merely a debate about his continued living...leading his mother to worry he will commit suicide....but its really a debate as to whether to persue his plans....plans only he knows...plans which fail...because he is alone and can share them with no one....a great play with subtle characters....

  5. #25
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Hamlet's a great play. It's really about two moral codes, when you think about. The Christian values - with its emphasis on conscience and forgiveness, and the Senecan code of honour. That's why Hamlet's written in the form of a Spanish revenge play, I think - "a play within a play", y'know - Hamlet's entrapped not only in the plot, which calls for revenge as the only reasonable course of action - but he's trapped within the atavistic formal structure of the play itself...he's a not a tragic character because he's got a tragic flaw, he's tragic because he's livin' in the wrong era. The play calls for a Creon and what is he? A Prufrock (oh, okay, so he's much better than a Prufock.) He's torn between the archaic ethical code seen in Macbeth and King Lear, and the modern virtues - Reason, being the big one.

    "What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!...."

    Yeah, so Hamlet's dead 'cause he allowed himself to think. And by doing so, he set the precedent for a heck of a lot contemporary tragic heros/anti-heros out there. Paralyzed by his environment, hyper-educated, analyzing and over- analyzing at every turn...sounds familiar? They can all call Hamlet their granddaddy.

    I mean, Shakespeare's written some awesome plays. But Hamlet's the only thoroughly relevant one, IMO.

  6. #26
    Embracing the Inner Geek museumguy's Avatar
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    My professors used to say Lear was the most modern of plays, because the universe is out to get him and he can not fight back....but I agree with you, Hamlet is man trying to control his universe..and failing mostly because his own logic and scheming are thwarted by circumstances beyond his control Very modern indeed

  7. #27
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    I think the phrase "the universe is out to get him and he can not fight back" totally describes to the old king in Kurosawa's Lear adaptation - "Ran", musuemguy. However, in Shakespeare's play, I saw the failing as being primarily Lear's overweening pride...and in that sense he's no different than Macbeth, whose tragic flaw is his greed, or Othello, whose is his jealousy.

    But Macbeth, Othello, and Lear were all HUGE characters. Larger-than-life..summoning the stars, their fates shackled to the world. When they fall to earth, we know why - divine retribution, and such. Not too different from Achilles, in that respect. Hamlet, I dunno...he's different. He's younger, and more approachable. Plus, he has no "tragic flaw" to speak of (well, unless you want to make an argument that's his flaw is that he's too intelligent ), so I think we sympathise with him for entirely different reasons. Macbeth, Othello, and Lear all died because they succumbed to the chinks in their own character...Hamlet died, because...well - because God didn't exist in his world, I guess. Because he was the sole voice of reason in a society that followed a code of blood.

    I also think Hamlet was, in the end, an existentialist. He was burdened by this terrifying freedom to choose, and for 3/4ths of the play he couldn't. In the end, however, he did. He embraced his death ("readiness is all"), and realized that his decision, no matter how difficult to make, was the only one that would allow him to accept the nature of the human situation, and confront the meaning of his life head-on.

  8. #28
    Embracing the Inner Geek museumguy's Avatar
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    Nausicaa, in the 1960s and 70s, the sort of standard interpretation of Lear was man futilely struggling against a universe he can not control. I don't agree with it....Like you stated and most agree his problems are caused by his own pride...But the existentials used to claim Lear as the most modern play....

    I have heard one suggestion about Hamlet's flaw which I suspect makes it the most modern..."his inability to express love leads to his demise...and that of all of those whose lives he tries to manipulate to avenge his father's death...." I think he like Macbeth or Othello is an imperfect man who can not control his own destiny due merely to his own defect.....just a bit more subtle....

  9. #29
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    That's really interesting, museumguy. I've never thought about it that way. But Hamlet does have major problems with women, doesn't he? Queen Gertrude, Ophelia...remember that burial scene, when Laertes and Hamlet were engaging in a pissing-match to see who loved Ophelia more? And all that fascination with his mother and Claudius in their "rank, enseam'd bed"...

    But if inability to express love is his tragic flaw...well, he'd be like the rest of the tragic heroes of the classical era, whose personal failings lead to their downfall. But I've always throught that modern drama emphasized on the opposite...man trapped in his environment, like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, or Roz and Guil in Rosencrantz and Guildestern are Dead.

    I dunno...I guess the play's open to many interpretations.

    (Hey, anyone else want to join in this discussion? The more ideas we throw out, the better. )

  10. #30
    Embracing the Inner Geek museumguy's Avatar
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    The problem I have...is that though he is superficial in some freindships and guilty about his relationship with his father...there seem to be a few relationships with some of the characters that don't quite completely fit the rule....but of all many interpretations I have heard or read of Hamlet having a tragic flaw its the most plausible...I would also be curious what other people felt about this...?

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