... where is the ghost in Stoppard?
Unlike Stoppard, I like the Ghost, the idea of it...
The (glass, transperent) coffin for King Hamlet. Mummy? On the wheel chair!
See Dante Page
I was Hamlet...
Maybe only now, after the death, you become yourself.
Who else but son can understand me?
Who cares what is right or wrong?
I will be Hamlet... when we will be together. My son and I. Hamlet II? No.
SummaryShakespeare @ Amazon
NotesWriter as Ghost...
* images : Hamletmachine + R/G
The appearance of the Ghost is rather humorous, according Hamlet? The forms of it, not the fact?
... "Hamlet in Purgatory" By Stephen Greenblatt [ google.com scholar ]
No ghost in Hamlet2.0 (R/G are Dead)... really?
How does this "idead" look today in 2008?
We have more ghosts than 400 years ago (e-media) -- voices.
-- sounds in Hamlet!
and sound effects.
In 2001 Hamletdreams the Ghost was appearing more than two times, and -- when in Stoppard's ?
... Before and After ?
Passing by (several times) visible only to Resencrantz and not even to Hamlet?..
Dead King and Prince keep switching the places. When the Ghost speeks Hamlet's lines (with Ophelia?), the sound as if is on life-support. He comes before the 40 days are over?Gibson (Ghost scene)
The moonlight. VO (voice over), the actor moves in silence.
The ghost appears/disappears first on the monitor, screens.
Set -- video-cemetory. Morg. The Ghost is naked? He is old, he repeats himself. Hard to understand. He is MAD.
[ pix : Shakespeare ]
Hamlet had no children, broke the bloodline and spare his father from becoming a child.
I have four.
No manhood for my father and me.
Cladius has no children.
Sons, not daughters do it. Only son can do it.
Wife does it to her husband. Revange? This war between the sexes?
Son is her weapon.
Is this what happened between Hamlet and Ophelia?
Did Ophelia's mother die, giving her birth? She will never see what happened to Polonius
The rest in Hamlet2002... 2007 ...
A century later.
What do you from the future?
PurgatoryGHOST I am thy father's spirit, Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night, And for the day confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison-house, I could a tale unfold whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, (1.5.16) Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combined locks to part And each particular hair to stand on end, (1.5.19) Like quills upon the fretful porpentine: But this eternal blazon must not be To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list! If thou didst ever thy dear father love--
In his 2001 book _Hamlet in Purgatory_, Stephen Greenblatt deals with Shakespeare and Catholicism. Beginning on p. 248, Greenblatt asks why the ghost of Old Hamlet is clearly purgatorial: it might simply have called for revenge without describing itself as "confin'd to fast in fires, / Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature / Are burnt and purg'd away" (I.v.10ff). Among other explanations, Greenblatt notes that evidence, albeit quite speculative, suggests that Shaekspeare's father--but not Shakespeare himself--had lived as a secret Catholic in Protestant England (see also 312n60).
Greenblatt's other explanations for a purgatorial ghost (at this point in his complex argument) are that (1) Shakespeare and his contemporaries were of a younger generation than the leaders of the Protestant reformation and this younger generation may have harbored some nostalgia for the old Catholic rituals and (2) that Shakespeare himself was contemplating his father's and his son's lives and deaths when writing _Hamlet_. He concludes, however, that, regardless of these biographical and historical particularities, Shakespeare certainly would have been aware of Catholic/Protestant debate carried on in tracts published in England and on the continent, and that "These works are sources for Shakespeare's plays in a differant sense [than that of literal source material]: they stage an ontological argument about spectrality and remembrance, a momentous public debate, that unsettled the institutional moorings of a crucial body of imaginative materials and therefore made them available for theatrical appropriation" (249).
In getting to this and other conclusions regarding Old Hamlet's ghost, Greenblatt raises (or perhaps resurects) some interesting questions regarding _Hamlet_.
1) Why does Hamlet feign maddness? In the source story by Saxo
Gramatticus, the equivalent to Claudius kills the equivalent of Hamlet's
father out in the open, justifies the killing, takes the throne, but knows
that the equivalent to Hamlet is duty-bound to seek revenge. In this
context feigning maddness buys the character time. In _Hamlet_, however,
the murder of Old Hamlet is secret, so Hamlet actually draws attention to
himself by pretending to go nuts.
2) Why in the "To be or not to be" speech does Hamlet describe death as a land from which no traveler returns, when he's just met a traveler who has returned?
Greentblatt acknowledges that Shakespeare may have simply contradicted
himself, or chosen dramatic effect over consistency, but Greenblatt uses
these cruxes to advance his concerns (described above) about ghosts,
memory, and "unmooring" institutional dogma for dramatic use. Perhaps,
however, list readers have their own opinions, or know of other takes on
Not so cut and dried, I think. First, Queen Elizabeth's 1558 law forbade religious references in plays--so the standard cycle play replaced the religious figure with a secular one, creating the Elizabethan form (eg Tamberlain, etc). It is also safe to say that it was for political reasons that plays were set elsewhere and at earlier times, not necessarily religious ones. Furthermore, there's a very decent argument that Shakespeare was harkening back to Druidism in all those plays set in "healing" or sprite-filled woods, which is pagan according the Catholicism. This is not to say that there might not be some Catholic overtones, but they are only some among a range of issues and possibilities. Above all the plays needed to stand on their own for such a commercial playwright as WS was in his day. Stuart J. Hecht, Boston College
If we accept the copy of the (now lost) Catholic testament of John Shakespeare, discovered in the roof of Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1757, then "the playwright was probably brought up in a Roman Catholic household in a time of official suspicion and persecution of recusancy" (Greenblatt, HAMLET IN PURGATORY, p. 249). Of William's personal beliefs we will never be sure, and it is dangerous to draw conclusions from attitudes expressed by characters in his plays. Evidence suggests that William conformed to the Church of England, but my sense is that outward conformity could cover or mask a broad spectrum of personal beliefs and practices at home. As Elizabeth herself intimated, her delicate 1559 religious settlement emphasized public conformity; she didn't wish to police private belief. That said, it became much more dangerous to be openly Catholic in England after 1570, when Elizabeth was excommunicated by Pope Pius V (thus making all Catholics seem potential traitors).
For more on this topic, see the recent special issue of RELIGION AND THE ARTS (Vol. 5-3 2001) on "Shakespeare and Catholicism," guest edited by David Beauregard. A full listing of scholarship on 'the Catholic Shakespeare' has been recorded by my colleague Dennis Taylor on his Boston College web site, "Shakespeare and Religion Chronology," http://www2.bc.edu/~taylor/shakes.html.
Andrew Sofer Boston College
Screen = mirror. Security cameras.
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
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