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Ham and Sharp: 1991-1993

As I try to ease myself back into the habit of posting in this blog, I’m looking over the categories I established for myself in January, to see which one’s I’ve neglected. I enjoyed writing the “Ham and Sharp” articles, which detailed my own early relationship to the Danish Play. But I faltered right around…

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Did Shakespeare Play the Ghost?

I had thought to append this as an afterthought to my Line By Line post about 1.1.49, but I decided it deserved its own post. You’ll recall how the two shared bits of dialogue that comprise line 49 both provide stage directions for the Ghost’s exit: MARCELLUS: It is offended. BARNARDO:                        See, it stalks away!…

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That’s the Question: Hamlet, Our Hero

A summary of my last post, before we move along: Why do we read/watch/produce/talk about Hamlet? Mostly because of the titular character’s heroic attempts, not to exact revenge for his father’s death, but to stabilize and heal a wounded world. Hamlet is crafty, witty, insightful, poetic, and sensitive, all of which helps us to sympathize…

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That’s the Question: Why Do We Hamlet?

Two posts ago, I explored the implication that a successful Shakespeare production (especially one that advertises itself as an “adaptation”) had damn well better have a firm grip on “the truth” of the text. Absolute truth is a heresy in postmodernism, and while it’s fine and dandy to assert, like Hamlet, that “I’ll have grounds…

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Scholarly Sparring: Harold Bloom

I haven’t done much scholarly sparring on this site, mostly because I’ve been too preoccupied with the practicalities of staging the play. But I’m always interested to read what the bigwigs think about Hamlet. Currently, I am inching my way through a couple of compilations and seminal works of criticism, including: John Dover Wilson’s What…

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That’s the Question: Realism vs. Expressionism

The terms realism and expressionism dominated theatrical design in the 19th and 20th centuries, but in Shakespeare’s time they didn’t exist, and nowadays they seem like something of a false dilemma. In an age where most blockbuster films are conceived simultaneously to deliver hyper-real CGI and totally unrealistic stories and characters, there’s no easy bellwether…

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