RSC Gregory Doran, 2008, David Tennant as Hamlet Flashcard Example #48020

Casting
ghost and Claudius both played by Patrick Stewart; makes crime worse, more intimate, therefore increases immorality of Claudius
Costume
Claudius in white dicky bowtie = celebration attire, Hamlet in black tie = funeral attire
Claudius
enjoying fight between Laertes and Hamlet at funeral, sadistic
Claudius / guilt
goes to bathroom to wash his hands – symbolic – and the mirror is broken here as well – facade breaking, cracks starting to show through own self reflection
Claudius / guilt
begins speech about old ham, must clear his throat – evasive of guilt
Claudius’ confession
light behind him shining down like heaven, but he is in darkness
Gertrude/Claudius
When Claudius dies, he lays and stretches his hand to Gertrude, whose hand is outstretched also. He doesn’t reach her – catharsis
Claudius/Gertrude
Claudius puts finger to Gertrude’s lips, and she kisses them – visual metaphor
Gertrude/Claudius
she puts her hand out to him, he ignores her and walks away
Claudius/Hamlet
Hamlet questioned tied up in chair in stairwell, seems hush hush, behind the scenes
Ghost
dressed in armour; conflict, unfinished business
Ghost
not visible on the CCTV – not holy? Malicious intent?
Ghost
shakes Hamlet violently, and the camera shakes when he speaks – he is dangerous, powerful, and malicious
Gertrude
at beginning seemed very glamorous and together, at end seems more dishevelled – shows the effect this whole rigamarole has had on her
Hamlet/Gertrude
Hamlet violent with bedsheets in bedroom scene, not Gertrude, symbolic of bed of “luxury” and “damned incest”
Old family
Hamlet cries into his mother’s lap, the ghost behind them, like the old family unit, accentuating what Hamlet has lost
Hamlet
“to be or not to be”, close up, eyes closed, very intimate, as if Hamlet is deep in self reflection
Hamlet
makes a sort of video diary – self reflection
intensity of Hamlet’s feeling
accentuated when he swears to the ghost and runs his hand violently down a blade – audience may look away
Hamlet costume
top with skeleton on – vulnerable, laying himself bare
Hamlet’s bandage
soiled, covered in blood – trying to hide true feelings but they are spilling out
Hamlet’s evasiveness/INACTION
looks anywhere but at his mother and Claudius – can’t face this life, will just avoid it
Surveillance
shot in style of surveillance cameras – every move is being recorded and watched
Surveillance
people watch Hamlet through double-sided mirror – appearances (reflection) vs. reality
The Mousetrap
Hamlet films it all, and zooms in on Claudius watching it, isolating just his reaction
Claudius at Mousetrap
the only production where we see Claudius’ true reaction to the play – he walks up to Hamlet and menacingly shakes his head
Polonius
when Laertes speaking to Claudius, Polonius is mouthing what he’s saying: as if it has been rehearsed
Polonius
dodges hug goodbye from Laertes
Polonius’ death
Hamlet shoots MIRROR, Polonius given his own moment, dies very quietly, ceremonial. Mirror shattered, in pieces
Laertes/Ophelia
she kneels, he is standing – hierarchy. She tells him not to be a hypocrite and pulls condoms from his bag
Ophelia
mad, strips in front of everyone, shows her sexual frustration and vulnerability
Ophelia
white veil in coffin – bridal – romanticised even in death
Life and Death
gravedigger eats sandwich – unsavoury, black comedy
Life and Death
Hamlet immediately puts on fencing attire, no meditation on death like Branagh; he has less of a care about his own life, more depressed
Life and Death
floor very reflective, trapping – Ophelia lays on floor and sees herself, trapped between life and death in feminine passivity
Yorrick
Yorrick’s skull from a real man – memories embedded are actually there, and even more meaningful. Thrown on pile, irrelevant in death, we are all the same.

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