Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2 Soliloquy (1996)

From the Hamlet movie directed by Kenneth Branagh in 1996, this is Hamlet's 1st soliloquy.

5 comments:

GeraldT1 said...

In Kenneth Branagh’s version of Hamlet, Branagh was able to depict Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 1 Scene 2of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In Act 1 Scene 2, King Claudius recites his speech on taking King Hamlet’s place on the throne. Also announces his plan to prevent young Fortinbras from attacking Denmark. In this scene Hamelt is left alone in the audience chamber after Claudius gives his speech. Hamlet does not like the idea of Claudius taking the place of his dead father and marrying his mother. Hamlet begins talking about his feelings towards this event and how much it has angered him. Branagh was able to show Shakespeare’s true intentions that scene by putting lighting, sound, and camera effects. The images, scenery, and the outfit complemented the scene. Also, the actor was able to deliver the lines and has shown a good portrayal of the dramatic Hamlet.

Branagh set up the scenery and lights to show a similar view of the audience chamber where Hamlet is left alone. The audience was large which had two thrones, pillars, chandeliers, candles, mirrors, and a checkered floor. In the beginning of the scene, it shows the audience chamber and Hamlet standing in between the thrones. The director uses furniture and decorations to show royalty. The walls and pillars are colored white which may also show royalty. The only furniture that has a different color is the throne and the stairs leading to the throne. There was little sunlight coming through the windows. The scene was set during a cloudy day giving the room a gray look which goes well with Hamlet’s feelings. The black wall behind the throne goes with the dark and gloomy chamber. Hamlet is still mourning after his father’s death. The size of the room caused the actor’s voice to project throughout the room which helped show Hamlet‘s anger. The set up of the audience helped show Shakespeare intentions of this scene.

In order to accomplish in recreating this scene, the director used camera effects, little sound effects, and no music to help show Shakespeare’s intentions of this scene. In the beginning of the scene, the director focused on the size of the room. Hamlet can be seen standing between the thrones in the middle of the audience chamber. The reason why the director decided to focus on the size of the room is to show that Hamlet is alone. The camera is focused on Hamlet, the camera begins to go around Hamlet when he is standing and facing toward the ground. When he faces up the camera is in front of him. This helps show that anger is building up in him. The camera is also focused on his face which helps see his facial expressions when he speaks. At the end of Hamlet’s soliloquy, Hamlet stands in a different part of the room which shows a large door in the background. The camera focuses on Hamlet and the door. This gives the audience an idea that someone is going to enter through those doors after Hamlet has finished his soliloquy. There wasn’t a lot of special sound effects used in this scene because the director wanted people to focus on Hamlet’s soliloquy. The room helped project his voice to show Hamlet’s anger. Sound effects weren’t needed in Hamlet’s soliloquy. Also during Hamlet’s soliloquy, there wasn’t any music. The reason why the director didn’t use any music is because he wanted people to focus on Hamlet’s soliloquy and the tone of his voice. Music is usually needed to help create the mood of the character and goes well with the situation that is happening. But the lighting of the room and the tone of the actors voice helps gives people the idea on how the character feels making music unnecessary for this scene. Music wouldn’t be needed in this scene because the silence in the background would complement the fact that Hamlet is alone in the audience chamber.

The actor portraying Hamlet was able to deliver the lines and create the appearance of Hamlet. The actor was able to accomplish this through tone, facial expressions, and hand gestures. The actor’s tone would change when Hamlet became angry. In Hamlet’s soliloquy, Hamlet says, “O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer!” (Lines 154-155). The actor would raise his voice when he recites these lines to show Hamlet’s anger. The way the actor recites the words in each line shows that he was able The actor would also recite his lines in a good moderate speed. He recites his lines as if he naturally talks this way. Also, in order to accomplish his portrayal of Hamlet, he uses facial expressions to expression Hamlet’s anger. In Hamlet’s soliloquy, Hamlet says, “How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me al the uses of this world! Fie on ‘t, ah fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden that grows seed. Things rank and gross in nature possesses it merely” (Lines 137-141). In these, the actor shows a lot of facial expressions. The way he says each word helps him create facial expressions which shows the audience that Hamlet is angered in what has happened after his fathers death. The fact that the actor was young went well with Hamlet’s appearance. The custom that the actor was wearing goes well with the fact that Hamlet is still mourning after his father’s death. He was wearing a black shirt and black pants. People usually wear black after the death of a family member or someone close to them. The actor uses hand gestures to help express Hamlet’s anger. The actor’s body language has also helped him accomplish his portrayal of Hamlet. The actor was able to bring Hamlet to life with his acting skills.

These are some ways Branagh was able to depict Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Branagh’s version of Hamlet was a better depiction of the play than the version with Mel Gibson.

jalisaf1 said...

Video Critique


In the clip of Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2 Soliloquy, The Director is trying to show the great scene’s of drama in Shakespeare. Hamlet starts out in the main room and is speaking to himself about how is mother had married his father’s brother within a month and he is very angry about it.

Hamlet is set by himself in the chamber. Hamlet is dressed in all black and has a steady voice when he first starts out talking about his mother and his uncle until he starts to walk into the middle of the room where his voice becomes intense he is getting angrier. The scenery in the room goes well with his anger, because in the room where he is it has a lot of dark colors where it sets the mood for hamlet. Also the way that the actor is playing as hamlet shows great meaning to how hamlet doesn’t want his uncle as king. Hamlet doesn’t like the fact that his uncle has the castle when it was his brother’s castle to begin with. Hamlet keeps mentioning about his mother married in a month he will never get over that because he feels like she betrayed his father by marring his father’s brother. In the clip when Hamlet is speaking I noticed that there is white feather’s or snow coming down from the roof I think he’s in an opening in his house. Hamlet does not like the fact that his uncle took the place of his father when he died.

In the clip of Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2 Soliloquy, when Hamlet said “so excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother that he might not beteem the winds of heaven visit her face to roughly.” (Act 1 Sc.2 Lines 143-146) Hamlet thinks that his uncle can not take care of his mother like his father did when he was alive. In Kenneth Branagh’s version of Hamlet Branagh was able to show the readers on how hamlet despises his uncle for taking the throne when his father past away two months ago. As Hamlet continues on about the death of his father he say’s his mother was like Niobe, because Niobe cried and cried because of the death of her children and he symbolizes his mother to her because his mother cried because of her husbands death but he Hamlet gets mad because after she cried two months later she married and he was trying to figure out why she cried if she married.

In the clip of Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2 Soliloquy, when Hamlet mentioned “My father’s brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules.” (Act 1 Sc.2 Lines 157-158) Hamlet is telling the reader that he is as strong as Hercules and his father is stronger then his Uncle.

Gaby C 7 said...

In Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, Branagh was capable of using Shakespeare’s words from Hamlet soliloquy and bring it to life. In Act 1 Scene 2, starts off with Hamlet being upset with his mother for marrying his uncle a month after his father had died. The new king, King Claudius, explains to Hamlet that everyone must experience losing a father at one point or another in their life. King Claudius tells Hamlet to be a man and grow up. Hamlet doesn’t take this talk with King Claudius very well and actually talks about committing suicide. Branagh uses many different techniques in order for the audience to understand the emotional melt down Hamlet is experiencing during his soliloquy.


Branagh decided to have the opening scene of the clip starts off with a long shot of the chamber with Hamlet standing alone with his head down in between the two thrones in the distance. This long shot allows the audience to see the empty and dark chamber. In this shot there is a long curtain falling from the ceiling in the middle of the room which is also dark, it is so dark that the chandelier is not very noticeable. The only light that is visible in this frame is the practical lighting from the sunlight in the windows, which is not very strong considering there are big windows. The small amount of light that is in the room highlights the throne. Hamlet is also is wearing black which adds on to the dark depressing scene. There is a reason for everything that is in the room, even the way the room is set up. The emptiness of the room and the dark colors is expressing the emotions Hamlet is feeling. He is upset over his father’s death and feels like no one is there for him.


In this recreation when Hamlet recites his soliloquy, there is a medium shot of him from the side with his head down and holding on to the throne, like he is using it for support. In this medium shot to room is more lighten up. There is a white and gold background with mirrors and candles. As he recites the first couple of lines, the camera rotates around him until it reaches the front of his face. As Hamlet delivers these lines, he says them in a depressing tone and the body language emphasizes it. Hamlet also says some of the words at a whisper. “His canon ’gainst (slef-slaughter!) O God, God”(Act 1 Scene 2). This is when Hamlet is contemplating suicide, he feels as if there is no reason for living because things are getting too hard for him to handle. He wants to melt away into a goodbye by killing himself. At this point the actor is portraying Hamlet as being suicidal. When the camera meets the front of Hamlets face, the finally lifts up his head and his first gesture is to run his hand through his hair in an aggressive way.


Hamlet starts to walk forward; the audience is capable of hearing the sound of his footsteps as he walks forward and down the stairs. “…’Tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature…”(Act 1 Scene 2). Hamlet delivers these lines with frustration and anger in his voice. He delivers these lines in that matter because he is comparing and unweeded garden to Claudius. The unweeded garden will never be able to live up to a seed. Who Hamlet is comparing to King Hamlet.


Hamlet uses the background and certain gestures to show his emotions. “So excellent a king, that was to this Hyperion to a satyr…”(Act 1 Scene 2). As he says these lines he looks around the large room and throws his hands in the air and points and looks at the throne. He is saying that his father was an excellent king and belongs to “this” throne. He continues to walk around the room, still able to hear his footsteps. As he continues to walk the background goes from light to darker. “Heaven and earth, must I remember?”(Act 1 Scene 2). He grabs his head as if he had a head ache and delivers this line with agony as if he can’t even bear to think of the fact that now his mother is with another man. “And yet, within a month…” (Act 1 Scene 2). Hamlet yells this line with anger because he cannot believe that his mother was so heartless as to marry someone else in such a short time. “Like Niobe, all tears—why she, (even she) (O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason would have mourned longer!)”(Act 1 Scene 2). Hamlet also yells these lines so loud that an echo is heard in the room. He uses this allusion to compare Gertrude’s feeling to stone; Gertrude is done with crying over King Hamlet that she her heart is made of stone and that is the only way of getting through this tough time.


Hamlet comes to a stop after walking around the room, the background is completely white and he is the only dark thing in the room at that point because he is wearing black. Hamlet is being portrayed as being weak. “…My father’s brother, but no more like my father than I to Hercules.”(Act 1 Scene 2). Hamlet is comparing King Claudius to King Hamlet. King Claudius will never be able to give Queen Gertrude what king Hamlet had given her. But then he also compares himself to Hercules who in Greek mythology is this strong, tough, man, and he says that he is not like him. This shows that Hamlet see’s himself as being weak.


The final words of the soliloquy Hamlet is standing still and he stares up into the ceiling. “But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.”(Act 1 Scene 2). He delivers this line in a soft desperate voice as he looks into the ceiling as he was speaking to someone. He feels as if there is no hope in the situation getting better and he must deal with being unhappy.

rachael_n7 said...

In the clip of Hamlet’s soliloquy from Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet movie, the character playing Hamlet has to deal with a range of emotions in a short period of time. He begins depressed and bent over. The celebration from his mother’s and uncle’s wedding just ended and Hamlet’s talking about killing himself while confetti is still falling on him. In the book, Hamlet wishes God didn’t make it a sin to kill yourself, because he actually wishes he could take his own life.

Everything from the celebration is bright and cheerful and Hamlet’s dressed completely in black. The room is has huge windows but it’s still kind of gloomy. As he gets more upset he moves around, talks louder and faster, and the camera moves. The camera starts off at a standstill like Hamlet, then by the end is moving quite fast. There was no music playing in the background, showing how alone Hamlet really is.

At the beginning of the clip Hamlet’s not moving and you can hear how depressed he is by what’s going on. As he gets more upset thinking and talking about how he feels about his mother and uncle, he begins to move more and becomes upset. When he yells at God he looks up. He wipes his face with his hands and talks with his hands as he gets more upset.

He’s sick at the thought of his uncle trying to take his father’s place. In both the movie clip and the book, Hamlet compares his uncle to his father using the metaphor, Hyperion to a satyr. He thinks of his father as a sun God and his uncle as a goat. He also remembers how much his father loved his mother, saying he wouldn’t even have let the winds of Heaven visit her face too roughly. She loved Kind Hamlet or had an “appetite” for him. Hamlet thinks his mother is weak for moving right to his uncle. He points out the shoes she had on at his father’s funeral were only about a month old when she bought new ones for the wedding. Also, he compares her to Niobe. Claiming her tears weren’t even dried from her husband’s death when she got married to his uncle. Not only had she moved on to quickly but she moved on to his uncle. Throughout everything he feels alone, “but break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.”

RhondaJ7 said...

In Kenneth Barnagh version of The Tragedy of Prince Hamlet, he was able to connect the audience of what and how the actors felt in which we see in Act 1 scene 2 of Hamlet’s soliloquy. The main point of this soliloquy was to show us readers that Hamlet does not like Claudius taking over his father’s throne whether he is the heir or not. Kenneth Barnagh did a splendid job on making this movie to how Shakespeare wrote it from the customs, music imagery, and lighting effects and he showed us how the actors played a good part on the delivery of the lines for each character in this play.

In this scene in act one scene two particularly, hamlet is talking to himself about how he doesn’t quite understanding how he doesn’t quite understand how the whole Demark isn’t taking King Hamlet’s death as serious as it is to allow Gertrude and Claudius to get married just after a month after he died. He compared Gertrude to Niobe, a woman in Greek mythology who was in so much grief of the loss of her children that she could not stop crying, and was transformed into a stone from which water continually flowed. I believe that this comparison is very important because we see that Gertrude did the complete opposite when King Hamlet died, instead of crying or being even bothered by his death, she went and married her brother in law, Claudius, a month later. The setting takes place at the king and queen’s throne in which he points to in order to reference on how King Hamlet was so high in power. As the audience, we see that their was nothing but a royalty setting with candles, and two thrones in which Hamlet did most of his Soliloquy making more depth of what he was saying about the situation about Claudius and Gertrude. I think that Kenneth uses a lot of imagery so that he can connect to the audience in how elegant and royal Prince Hamlet is.
This scene is in a dimmed setting most likely had to take place in the chamber where the King and Queen set. I believe that the background was chose to be dark so that the audience can focus on what Hamlet was really saying regarding his soliloquy and to connect to how his emotions felt which were dark and gloomy. I noticed that the custom he wears connects to him still grieving for his father, King Hamlet. The delivery on Hamlet’s lines was very intense especially when he starts to describe his feelings toward how his mother married a month after King Hamlet’s death. He talks as if he has been portrayed by every one he knows because we can see that he blames everyone around him for things that are happening to Denmark. We can see him angered by this situation because he is yelling in almost the empty clear room in which makes his voice standout.
The actor is portraying Hamlet very well because it seems like he put himself in the role which he was playing. The expression on his face in his soliloquy has the audience believing every word he was saying. When describing his emotions about his thoughts on how Denmark changed and how he was very sincere yet questioning why what has happened, happened.

There was no music in Hamlet’s first soliloquy because I think that Shakespeare wanted to let us readers know how serious and determined Hamlet was in figuring out what to do in the situation regarding Gertrude and Claudius and the fact that no one cares about King Hamlet’s death. The director decided to focus more on the theme and tone of his voice in which the audience can relate and feel Hamlet’s hurt.