Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Laertes--cast a character

William Sly, who was in Shakespeare's Company between the years 1594 -1605. It is believed that he was Laertes.

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.



mike said...

Mike Serafim 2/10/08

Laertes to me seems like the caring courageous character. He doesn't only care for his sister but gives her smart advise. " For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favor, Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood. The date would be present day. How many movies have you seen when someone's sister has been kidnapped and the brother has to save her? The set would be a high school. I would choose this because there's so many situations when the older brother looks out for his younger sister. Also it's one of the places that is full of drama. It would be a old high school with gloomy colors like the walls in C house. The school would be big to fit the scene of a castle. Also most of the scenes would be taken in the hallways because that's where most people talk.

Laertes would be a very hard character to customize. He would be tall, about 6 ft. He would have a fit body not to big though. He would wear tight shirts and one of those football jacket. He would have a clean cut hair with no facial hair. At the same time he'd be very educated. All the words he says are highly educated, "For nature, crescent, does not grow alone In thews and bulks, but, as this temple waxes, the inward service of the mind and soul Grows wide withal.” He would be wearing strong and vivid colors like blue and red because his tough and yet caring. “ And sister, as the winds give benefit And convey is assistant, do not sleep, But let me hear from you.” The tone for this sentence can change a lot about kind of personality Laertes has. I would put his tone as strong and demanding. As if his telling his sister to write to him not asking.

Sound effects and music is one of the hardest things for a director to choose. I wouldn't use to many sound effects. One I would use is people in the background to make the school feeling seem more real, but in important lines the sound would stop. “ Be wary, then; best safety lies in fear.” In the part where Polonius enters there would be quiet music playing like the ones played in scary movies. Because the tone changed when Polonius entered as of they're scared of him listening to what they were talking about. “I stay too long. But here my father comes.”

Like I briefly mentioned above Laertes would have a demanding but caring tone. He would deliver his line strongly and with confidence. Shakespeare named this character Laertes for a reason. In mythology Laertes was Odysseus father and King of Cephallenians. That alone is proof that Laertes would be cast as a strong and courageous character. His attitude towards Hamlet makes him seem that Laertes is mature. “ Or lose your heart or your chaste treasure open to his unmastered importunity.” By calling Hamlet unmastered it's almost like calling him immature.

Dennis C2 said...

Dennis Chen
Prd 2

Hamlet Scene Act 1 : Laertes

1. In scene 1 in Hamlet I think I would set the stage with a background of a castle. I chose the castle because there mostly talking and my view is that their talking inside. Also when they see the ghost of the old King, I can place a scene of a dark hall so when the guards are guarding somewhere in the building the ghost could just come out of nowhere and its dark and small so that you can only see the ghost when it shows up. I would chose some Gray, Black, and maybe some Red, because the castle is made out of stones and stones are grayish. The black could represent the darkness outside of the castle and the red could be the curtains that are inside the castle when it shows a scene of them inside the castle. The lighting I would make it gloomy because back in the dark ages it would be really dark and cloudy, but enough to see the characters and what there doing. The texture of the whole place I would make it real clear so that the audience can see what is happening.

2. I think that Laertes should have a nice colored outfits so that people can remember who he is. He should have some nice shiny clothes to show that he is a intelligent person and his clothes should be a perfect fit to show us that he is a good man. The style of their outfits should look like old fashion that looks proper but still look like their back in the dark ages. Time period Dark Ages because they still had castles and they were still developing their cities.

3. I would have some soft music in the beginning as the people are walking around and doing things that they would usually do. The music would play loud enough that people would hear before the characters start speaking to each other. I would play the sound effects only when something happens and the characters wouldn’t know and when the characters do something and the audience cant see that’s when I’ll add some sound effects.

4. The characters would deliver his lines with his emotions for example if the character was angry and frustrated the character would talk as if he was angered and he would be throwing his arms around to let us know that something is wrong. This would show a lot out of the characters because it shows us if their a nice person or a mean person. But Laertes isn’t that kind of person but he would speak to people softly so that he can show the person he is talking to that he means what he is saying and that the person wouldn’t take what he is saying offensive.

Chris A. said...

In Act 1, Scene 3, where Laertes and his sister Ophelia are having a private conversation, as myself, being the director of this scene, it would be in Polonius’ Castle in one of his many “chambers.” In Polonius’ chamber it would be luxurious yet subtle, light penetrating the stone windows, a portrait of his highness, Laertes turned around looking away from her an having the conversation. Laertes luggage is already on the ship, “My necessaries are embarked.” (1.3.1)

Laertes would be portrayed as a very well built man yet enough to be able to tell that he highly intelligent since he is leaving for France to continue his studies. I would see him being able to wear a scholarly robe for his studies but also being able to wear a suit of armor for he is the son of a king who should be able to fight for his kingdom. His robe would probably be a yellow outline and white and his armor would be made of steel. Ophelia would be wearing a long white gown and Polonius would be wearing an elegant blue robe with tights underneath.

In the beginning of this scene there would be no music playing only the voices of Ophelia and Laertes. Then as the scene progresses footsteps would be heard knowing the Polonius is near, soft music will be played as, he draws near the music will start getting louder until he enters the room and all is heard.

Laertes lines would be giving with some doubt towards his sister since she is still young he doesn’t think of her of being mature yet. "Youth to itself rebels, though none else near." (1.1.44) Meaning that young people are na├»ve even without being tempted. This would show us that Laertes is knowledgeable with this type of situation an that his looking out for his sister.

CASEYG1 said...

When casting Laertes character, a rather experienced qualities come to mind. In Act 1:3 Laertes shows his knowledge about love, when speaking to his sister Ophelia.Laertes as a person is a college student, and has the style of one, but trys to look older to empress his other scholars.
The setting around Laertes and Ophelia is a tight room, where Laertes has been packing for college. The colors around the room are natural, showing no sure emotion. But it is noon time making the lighing seem dull.

As Laertes is trying to explain to Ophelia how love is like a flower, and "not perminent" he brings out his brother-ly qualities trying to show his sister through his experience that not everything is truely love. The surrounding effects of music are suddle but when Ophelia disagrees with what he brother is telling her unpleasant music plays as to show that the Ophelia really doesn't know what is right from wrong at this point and show at last listen to her brother for he has already lived what he is preaching.

Laertes never raises his voice to Ophelia, even though he should to make his point clear, as he states his facts about Hamlet being "subject to his birth," by this Leartes feels that his sister will not be valued by Hamlet as Hamlet will take to consideration of the Country before Ophelia. Since Hamlet is the Kings son, his position is to keep the grounds and think of his people first. He also brings up a good point about Hamlet "Unto the voice and yeilding of that body," suggesting that maybe Hamlet says he loves you but is it only for your body. Bringing questions to Ophelia's head. Also showing that Hamlet is broken up into pieces where his body could represent the state and the head be hamlet as a leader, where Ophelia has no part of it.

As Leartes exits, he walks off with a kind of "i told you so" attitude, where as if it does come true he told her up front. He also gets his father involved right before he leaves.

Anh C2 said...

Anh Cai

During act one, scene three, enters Laertes. The setting or scene change as Laertes is coming in should be in the night time because by the end of act one, Laertes is still an unknown character. He appears for half of scene three. The mysteriousness of his character would stand with the darkness of the day. As it is dark out, the sky should be a glow of violet. The glow is from Laertes as he lends his wisdom to Ophelia. “Violet” (1:3:8) is the color from which Laertes has mention while talking about youth. While Laertes’ words of wisdom is spoken to his sister, the glow in the sky should become brighter showing depth in his words. Switching the scene when Polonius enters, the background should darken into full night showing Laertes’ feelings of not wanting to see his father. “I stay too long. But here my father comes.” (1:3:57). Stage direction is Polonius enters before Laertes speaks. Laertes notices the entrance and quickly ends his words with Ophelia then states he needs to go.

The time that Hamlet was written as suggested is the beginning of 1600’s. During the time, the normal male of royal wears big and heavy clothing. At the end of the sleeves there are cuffs, white and ruffled. The outer coat is the equivalent of our vest today. The collar is as the cuffs of the sleeves. The pants are fitted and sewn to the likings of the royalty while socks are very high stockings and the shoes are buckled and dressed shoes. The color of the costumes are made up of many different colors because of the many layers. In fitting with Laertes, the colors should be bright and vibrant against the darkness of the sky. The texture of the fabric is rough and uncomfortable to wear. Some maybe of silk imported from elsewhere.

During the 1600’s is the end of the Renaissance period in music when the ranges of the voices begins to differentiate. They also have adopted the madrigal’s style of singing. The madrigal’s style is in four parts without the accompaniment meaning no instruments. Each of the four parts act as an instrument on their own while another is singing. There is a madrigal’s group at the school and their style would fit perfectly into Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. As Laertes is entering, the sound should be a high heavenly sound. While Polonius enters, the music dies slowly into a low ranged sound.

Mr. Gallagher says that Hamlet’s friends reflect onto Hamlet himself. Laertes as a person from the limited reading shows that he is a arrogant. During Polonius’ dialogue with Laertes, in respond to being taught how to be careful with his words, (1:3:60-87). His respond is he will leave. (1:3:88). In the passage of Polonius, he shows the character of Laertes, how he is. He is told by his father not to speak, (1:3:65). His words will be his own downfall. The tone of Laertes as he is presenting his lines should be spiteful and full of warn. As if a mother would speak to a child to not cross the line. Mentioned before, Laertes is a wise man because he knows enough to warn Ophelia but he is also full of himself.

Mr. G said...

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

aquaV said...

The set of the stage is going to be like he is in a church. There is going to be tile floors that are a brown color. Laertes is going to be on the pulpit. There’s going to be paintings on the wall and the wall is like a tan color and there is a big chair that is gold. I picture it like this cause he is talking like he is a preacher.

Laertes is going to be dressed in a robe with a white collar. The robe is going to be a black color with a purple line going down the middle of the robe. It is going to be fit loose and comfortable. The sleeves are going to be purple around it. I chose him to look this way because he is saying a long speech.

The music in the background would be following Laertes words so as he speaks the piano and drums are going to make sounds that follow his words so if he is level, the keys on the piano will be loud and the drums will make a loud sound. I want it this way because I think it follows what he says in the scene between him and his sister.

I imagine Laertes to deliver his line as he is preaching to a crowd. He is getting his point across. He is saying his lines with power and they have meaning. This shows that Laertes is preaching and confident in his lines.

Conor R1 said...

This is the part when Laertes is talking to Ophelia in Act I Scene 3 about Hamlet and how he is just another guy. I picked Laretes because he is the less discussed character and he will be harder to portray and to see how we would see him in the little time we see him so he is kind of mysterious.

The way I see Laretes is a big strong man about 6 feet tall and looks very intimidating to other people, but he is very gentle, considering the way he talks to Ophelia and I also see him as very intelligent and wize. Hamlet refers to Laertes as “a very noble youth.” which says alot being that Hamlet is kind of crazy and he is kind of his rival. I see him as a kind of mode and every girl wants him.

Laertes is wearing red and gold shirt with a white blouse and matching pants and a cape. Ophelia is wearing a beautiful dress that is purple and also has gold on it.

Now, the way I would like to set this up is with Ophelia and Laertes in the livingroom of their house talking their are many paintings on the wall fancy furniture, drapes, rug and everything is just fancy. But is is kind of small but not too small so every thing doesn't look like is was all just thrown it there.

Their wouldn't be any music because when two people are talking then their shouldn't be any music, it would be weird only mabe wen the scene was about to end or it was a very climactic part should their be music or when something is about to happen.

That is how I see that scene when I read it.