Presentation on theme: "Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice: Hamlet Queen Elizabeth’s advanced age and poor health leads to the precarious state of the succession."— Presentation transcript:
Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice: Hamlet Queen Elizabeth’s advanced age and poor health leads to the precarious state of the succession to the British crown. Queen Elizabeth by Nicholas Hilliard (1585) Hatfield House
Hence, Shakespeare’s decision to mount a production of Hamlet, with its usurped throne and internally disordered state, comes as no surprise.
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" was a remake of an already popular play, based on an episode from the Dark Ages, the lawless, might- makes-right era that followed the collapse of Roman- era civilization. Ophelia
Ophelia’s characterization of Hamlet may be intended to suggest the Earl of Essex. The portrait of Earl of Essex
Another contemporary historical figure, the Lord Treasurer, Burghley, has been seen by some in the character of Polonius. The Lord Treasurer, Burghley
Knowing about eleventh-century Danish court life or about Elizabethan England is particularly germane to analysis of Hamlet.
In Hamlet’s day the Danish throne was an elective one. The royal council, composed of the most powerful nobles in the land, named the next king. The third quarto of Hamlet (1605); a straight reprint of the 2nd quarto (1604)
The custom of the throne’s descending to the oldest son of the late monarch had not yet crystallized into law. Hamlet, Gertrude and the ghost
Although her second marriage to the brother of her deceased husband would not be considered incestuous today by many civil and religious codes, it was so to considered in Shakespeare’s day. The charge of incest against the Claudius Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard, 1839
What is “melancholy” to Elizabethans? Nervous instability. Rapid and extreme changes of feeling and mood. The disposition to be for the time absorbed in a dominant feeling or mood, whether joyous or depressed. Hamlet and the grave diggers by Jean Dagnan-Bouverte
If we examine Hamlet’s actions and speeches closely in an Elizabethan’s eyes, we will realize that at least part of Hamlet’s problem is that he is a victim of extreme melancholy. Ophelia drowned
Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet Different versions of Hamlet The Raj Hamlet Shakespeare set in India Hamlet in Germany
Many Hamlets Laurence Olivier as Hamlet Richard Burton as Hamlet Mel Gibson as Hamlet, with Glenn Close as Gertrude Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet
Campbell Scott as Hamlet Kevin Kline as Hamlet, with Dana Ivey as Gertrude Ethan Hawke as Hamlet Ethan Hawke as Hamlet, with Julia Stiles as Ophelia
Related links and Resources about Shakespeare and Hamlet The life of Queen Elizabeth– http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/elizabio.htm http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/elizabio.htm BBC- Drama- 60 seconds Shakespeare http://0rz.net/e61U6 http://0rz.net/e61U6 屏風表演班 > http://www.pingfong.com.tw/shamlet2006/shamlet_0 2.htm http://www.pingfong.com.tw/shamlet2006/shamlet_0 2.htm Kakiseni.com– our Hamlet http://www.kakiseni.com/articles/features/MDYyNA.h tml http://www.kakiseni.com/articles/features/MDYyNA.h tml Hamlet in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet