Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Claudius--cast a character

Derek Jacobi as King Claudius

Think of yourself as the director of a scene from Act 1 in Hamlet.. As the director of the play/movie, you need to have a clear, developed, complete concept of your vision of the play. A director’s vision of a play should all work together: the music should echo the set, and the costumes. You may find it useful to base your concept of the play around a singular theme that you want to reinforce through set, costumes, sound, and delivery.

You need to post your answers in the comments stream by Monday, February 11th at 4:00p.m. to the following questions. Each question will take at least one well formed paragraph or more and need to be backed up with evidence from the scene. (50 points)
  • How would your set for the stage look and be arranged? Why? Consider colors, lighting, scale, texture, and layout.
  • What would the character's costume look like? Why? Consider colors, fit, style, time period, and texture.
  • What sorts of sound effects or music would you use in the production? Why? Consider time period, volume, and genre.
  • How would the character deliver his lines? Why? What does this show us about your character?

Answering the “why” part of each of the above questions is the most difficult part of this assignment, but it is also the portion that allows the most leeway. Fell free to hyperlink to any material online that is appropriate.

Remember: your goal is to develop or create a character's personality by providing information about the character and how he or she should act, look, and sound.



GeraldT1 said...

The character I have chose is Claudius in Act 1 Scene 2. King Claudius is King Hamlet’s brother. The scene is set in the main hall. The hall is filled with valuable decorations that shows royalty. The main hall would be large enough to fit a lot of people. The hall should also be dim and there is very little light. The reason why the room should be dim is because of King Hamlet’s death. King Claudius becomes the king and step father of Hamlet. Hamlet believes that King Claudius would never become the same as King Hamlet. King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltemand, Cornelius, and Claudius’ subjects enter the hall. The clothes that King Claudius and Queen Gertrude are wearing show royalty and power. Hamlet wears dark colored clothing to show his sorrow for his fathers death and his rebellion against Queen Gertrudes actions. The others wear clothes that show their high status. King Claudius begins the scene with a speech. The Claudius says his speech with little sorrow when mentioning the death of King Hamlet and how it has affected the people. Then he begins to show pride and honor when mentioning that he will become king and be with Queen Gertrude. Claudius also shows that he is not powerless and won’t surrender. Claudius says, “Young Fortinbras, Holding a weak supposal of our worth or thinking by our late dear brother’s death our state to be disjoint and out of frame, colleagued with the dream of his advantage, he hath not failed to pester us with message importing the surrender of those lands lost by his father, with all bonds of law, to our most valiant brother. So much for him” (Line 17-25). Claudius shows that he is already taking control of the throne and shows no way of backing down. Hamlet still shows sorrow for his father’s death which catches Claudius’ eye. Claudius says, “Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, to give these mourning duties to your father. But you must know your father lost a father, that lost a father, lost his, and a survivor bound in filial obligation for some term to do obsequious sorrow. But to perserver in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubborness. Tis unmanly grief” (Lines 87-94). Claudius is speaking in a tone the way a father would speak to his son. Even though Claudius is trying to cheer up Hamlet, Hamlet still seems depressed about his father’s death and shows dislike in his mother’s actions.

MikeL P.2 said...

The Character that chose to cast on is Claudius the king, Hamlets new father and real father’s brother. Act 1 Scene 2 would take place in the center of the main room in the castle with Gertrude, Polonius, Laertes, Hamlet, Voltemand and Cornelius is present. The scene would take place in the center because of all the high class characters in this scene. The lighting behind King Claudius would be a spot light. Using a spot light in this scene is important because using this lighting technique shows that Claudius is now the new king and the center of everything, it would also show his power and dominance over everyone else. This scene would probably take place in the meeting hall or the main room in the castle. Everywhere else in this room would be dark since now the intention is on the new King. But the darkness would also represent for the depression and the fall of King Hamlet. Around the room there would be a slight green light for the remembrance of King Hamlet. “Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother’s death the memory be green, and that it us befitted to bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom to be contracted in one brow of woe, yet so far hath discretion fought with nature that we with wisest sorrow think of him….” (Act 1 Sc. 2 Lines 1-6) When King Cluadius says that Hamlet’s death the memory is green this is saying that supports that fact that green is a color to remember. Moving on into the lines where it says “we with wisest sorrow think of him” (Line 6) that goes back to the darkness in the room showing the depression and gloomy setting because the lost of their beloved king. In this room King Claudius is the only person standing because one person standing shows that person or character has more power overall.
The costume of King Claudius would probably be classy. The kind of clothing that King Claudius would wear would be the around the 1600’s wear this play was based on. Claudius on his neck, hand, and ringer should have all jewelry from head to toe to show his riches and his power, that now he has married King Hamlet’s wife Gertrude. The costume on Claudius would look like a long robe costume. Claudius would also have a crown that’s filled with diamonds that would also show his higher class. The color is red because red can symbolize many things, red can symbolize his new love with his wife Gertrude, it can also be the happiness that he has becoming the new king, and also it can also represent again power.

Since Claudius is king of Denmark, he is like an antagonist in Act 1 Scene 2. So the music that probably is appropriate for this scene would be an evil tone. “To give these mourning duties to your father. But you must know your father lost a father, that farther lost, lost his, and the survivor bound ….. (Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 92-94) In this line it shows that Claudius doesn’t really care about the loss of King Hamlet, all he really cares about is now he has the power over Denmark. Claudius also tells Hamlet it’s a cycle when losing a father by saying “you must know your father lost a father, that father lost, lost his… (Line 92-93). Also when Claudius starts the scene with a speech he would have a loud tone of voice, louder than everyone else to symbolize back to how he has power over the rest of the characters in the play. By using this technique is helps shows viewers that his speech is meaningful to the play.
Claudius should deliver his lines in a loud and demanding tone of voice. With this it allows him to attract more attention to him and have the rest of the characters focus of him more.
But you must know your father lost a father, that farther lost, lost his, and the survivor bound ….. (Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 92-94) Here again Claudius is talking towards Hamlet telling him he needs to move on with life because eventually a father has to die, but Hamlet isn’t taking the situation very well. In this scene Claudius would deliver these lines to Hamlet in a persuasive tone or father like. Since Claudius is no longer his uncle but now his father.

HauInS1 said...

The character that I have chosen is Claudius. He is the King of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle and stepfather. In act 1, he just appears in scene II. He appears to be an intelligent King in front of people. However, he seems to be a greedy, selfish and materialistic person who has an incestuous with Ophelia.

Claudius first appears as a capable ruler. He gives a speech about his brother’s death and also mentions the external conflict of Denmark. As he is the King of the country, he should be standing on a stage to give out his speech inside the audience chamber. The court people should be sitting around him and listening to him quietly. A spot light is placed on Claudius while others are in dark. This makes Claudius stand out among the others and also emphasize his status. In act I scene II, “…our whole kingdom to be contracted in one brow of woe,” (line 3-4, pg.21) shows that he is a capable king. Also, he appears to be intelligent and calm as he wants to unite the country right after he gets the throne. After that, the stage changes from a court to a home where Claudius, Ophelia and Hamlet have a talk. By this time, Claudius’ role is Hamlet father. The lightings become softer than before in order to create the feel of family.

Claudius is the King of Denmark and the one who tells Hamlet not to be so sad of King Hamlet’s death. He should be dressed in noble and deluxe clothing and wear a crown due to his identity. He should dress in layers and the clothes should be formal. Dressing in layers and help the Claudius change his role from a King to a father easily. As in the beginning of scene II where Claudius gives out his speech, he is needed to be looked superior and makes others obey and proud of him. Noble and deluxe clothing makes him honorable. Also the clothing should be bright in color as he wants everyone to get rid of the sadness which brought by King Hamlet’s death. Bright color can make people relax and shows that everything is past. People should look forward to their bright future.

Some clapping sounds and welcome music are needed before Claudius entering the court in the beginning of scene II. This can help to show his high status which is the King of the whole country. After that, there should be no music and the stage should be silent besides his speech. People need to listen to his speech and show their respects and awe. There should be some soft music when the stage setting changes from court to home and becomes a bit tense while they are having the talk.

Claudius should deliver his lines with excitement during to speech because he needs to make people believe in and proud of him. He wants people to obey him as he takes the throne which should be originally pass to Hamlet because he married Ophelia. He needs to unite the people to be a successful king. After that, he needs to talk to Hamlet strict and emotionless. “…but you must know your father lost a father, that father lost, lost his…” (Act I scene II line 91-101) states that losing a father is a common thing and no need to be sad about this. He needs to say this without emotionless to make Hamlet do that. However, this also shows that he is a greedy and selfish person. He is indifferent with his brother’s death. He just marries Ophelia, which is the Queen, and takes the throne. He may plan to do that, taking the throne maybe his target. Therefore, he needs to be excited when he faces the people and talks about King Hamlet without any emotions. This can help to carry out his personality, his greed, his ambitions, and his incestuous with Ophelia.

Doug K, P1 said...

King Claudius
In the play Hamlet, I find King Claudius as the character who stood out the most. His role would be played out in a castle. “My dread lord, Your leave and favor to return to France …” (Lines 52-53) Laertes request for Claudius’ permission to leave shows how he is viewed by the others. He is viewed as a king and king deserves to live in a castle. The broken glasses would be for preventing any outsider from climbing over the wall. The inside of the castle would be filled with darkness since Claudius shows Hamlet his dark side when he marries his mother. The inside of the castle would have a red carpet that represents honor. Celebrities usually walk on red carpets when going to receive their honors. So I figured Claudius on a red carpet since he is an honorable man.

King Claudius’ costume would be made out of animal skin. I would make it out of animal skin because it shows how valuable he is. Specifically, I would use a black snake’s skin just because it shows that he is full of darkness even though he tries not to expose it. Snakes tend to appear harmless when hiding but once approached, they show their dark side. They are also provocative. I think Claudius appears to be the same way, so that’s why his costume would be made out of a snake’s skin. “This unprevailing woe and think of us As of a father;” (lines 111-112) I found Claudius’ words provocative to Hamlet in a way that he pushes him to call him his father. He would have to put on a crown since he’s the king of Denmark. He would also have on golden boots just to show how valuable he is.

Before Claudius’ entrance, there would be a sound of a bell. The sound would be for notifying the town’s people that a king is about to approach them. Then there would be drum rolls in the background. The drum rolls are alert the people that the man of power is now in their presence.

Claudius would speak slowly but with confidence. He would also speak in a deep voice. He would speak slowly just to make sure that everybody understands what he is saying. Speaking with confidence would allow the people to build trust in him because they would believe whatever he says. The deep voice represents power. Speaking in a deep voice would earn him fear of the town’s people. With all that aside, he would have an annoying tone in voice. “But you must know your father lost a father, that father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound…” (Lines 93-94) Claudius angers Hamlet when he says those words. Hamlet is angered because Claudius doesn’t want him to mourn for his father even though he and Claudius are brothers.

Mr. G said...

It is the day after the assignment was due...I'm making a note for myself.

yan w p7 said...

The character I chose is Claudius, because I’m interesting in the process of his various roles in the play Hamlet, such as been Hamlet’s uncle, stepfather, and antagonist in the play. So I think he is also a part of main character.

If I’m the director of a scene from Act 1 in Hamlet, I will place the scene in palace, because King Claudius’ first appearance on the scene is in Act 1 Scene Two. First I will make the Claudius as a wise king, but just ostensibly. The palace would have Excessive or flashy ornamentation. In the palace there has a dais with tent and two or three stairs with a big silver chair in the center and having a canopy and ornate decoration, and another chair beside that. King Claudius sits on the big chair and Queen sits on the chair beside the king. There are two lines of courtiers standing at the right and left. That scene shows the king stand high above the masses. The light would be dim reflect on the courtiers and with the bright on the dais. These express courtiers’ mourning and King Claudius’ marriage.
The Claudius would be a man with age of fifty and still with handsomely. That’s why Gertrude marries to him. Clothes during the Shakespearean time period reflected the high points of the period. He would wear a loose-fitting garment and red robe, and crown on. That shows a his peerage.
I would use music from the medieval times because that the play takes time at 16th century and the music would play with old classical instruments. That may contains a little of the sorrow.
He was delivering a speech, which he says his will marry to Gertrude, his brother’s widow in order to quiet down Denmark’s mourning although he also mourns his brother. His speech might show he’s a wiser king, but in fact that is an incest relations and it’s illegal or forbidden by custom. As he said “Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen……..With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole,-- ”(lines 7 to 13) That’s immoral action to celebrate marriage in funeral and with mirth in funeral, although he say that’s in equal scale weighing delight and dole.

DuyH7 said...

The character that I would choose is claudius. The King of Denmark. He seems very suspicious and is definitly an important character. King Claudius marries queen Gertrude and takes control of the throne. He then goes on to give a speech about the tragic death of his brother and the spotlight is now on him. He tries to convince the people that he is a capable king.The the way he dresses. He dresses in animal skin . Claudius is described as an animal. He is described as a serpent or snake which symbolizes death and evil . I believe is also symbolizes poison which was what he used to kill king hamlet. He used poison to put in king hamlets ear at night as he snuck up on him.I would have the setting on a stage with claudius speaking to the people and a spot light. The way claudius would enter would be in a quick pace and quiet like a suspicious character that he is. His age would be in his fifties and he would be dressed in snake skin to symbolize his evilness.

ernesto.F2 said...

The character chose is king Claudius, who is the uncle father of prince Hamlet. The scene is set in the main hall of a mansion and where in the middle of the hall there is elevator which takes to the second floor and there are a lot of windows in there and is night.
The full moon is able to see in each window and each window is set with big curtains, all blue, and some candles in the walls. The floor is covered with a black carpet and in the sides there are some flowers. The flowers could be red carnations, light pink roses ,and fennel and each of these flowers with a card saying sorry for the death of king hamlet.
I set a mansion to that the story is about a powerful family, the elevator is set because is a smart way to begin a conversation when people are coming out of the elevator, the elevator is set there to because this play takes place in the late 19th century and I chose this time because we can understand more things about people of this time than Shakespeare’s time.
The curtains would help to close the windows and a great form to hide some persons in the follow scenes and the color blue because the death of hamlet's father. The carpet is referring for the mourning of king Hamlet, the candles are for decoration for sure but the candle light is not that strong than a electric light bulb so it makes a tenuous atmosphere and overshadowed place. I set the moon in there because the moon would be a great source of light at night and is the representation of fertility and that is because the marriage of queen Gertrud with king Claudius. The red carnations and the roses represent admiration,and the fennel strength.
Referring at Claudius costume it could be a gray suit, with animal fur and that represent the power and the economic status of his family on his hands lot of jewelry and in one of his teeth can be a gold prostate and his hair could be gray too and his facial factions could be of a person between 50's and 60's with some wrinkles on his face. In the back it can be good a violin play but almost imperceptible
He would speak in a deep voice. He would speak slowly just to make sure that everybody understands what he is saying. Speaking with confidence would allow the people to build trust in him because they would believe whatever he says.
At this moment of that passage the confidence of Claudius makes the people around believe of his full of good feelings and the lost of his brother made him take power of Denmark with a big responsibility and with her new wife-sister.