Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Queen Gertrude--cast a character

Anita Dobson as Gertrude

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 her 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.



Erika U 7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erika U 7 said...

Queen Gertrude
As the director of the play/movie of Hamlet I would set the stage to appear to look like the 1900’s. This would help the viewer acknowledge the time period of the movie, and have a feeling about the setting. While focusing on Act 1 scene 2 I would set character of Queen Gertrude and Hamlet in a castle located in Denmark where the Queen Gertrude and Claudius reside. During this scene there is a conflict rising between Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, and Claudius since Hamlet does not want to leave his studies and reside with them. As a director I would set these characters up in a big fancy living room, where there is a long dining table that fits many people. Queen Gertrude and King Claudius would be sitting right by each other while beginning to speak to Hamlet; when asking him to stay in Denmark and live in the castle. Hamlet would defiantly be standing up instead of sitting along with them, because this could show the tension going on, and also Hamlet’s way to show disagreement to their request. “O that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! ...” (Act I, scene 2, 129–137). The colors of the room would be very strong, with big traditional chandeliers to lighten up the room; because I would like the audience to focus on the scene. There would be high ceilings to show a castle environment. There would also be a lot of detail perhaps decorations to drag the view’s attention to the scene.

The characters costumes would be from the 1900’s where Queen Gertrude would be wearing the most expensive accessories as well as her outfit. This is very important because it demonstrates her position in the family, as well as the wealth. Queen Gertrude would be wearing the finest texture on her dresses, and they would be handmade for her figure. Her dresses are very important because she’s the Queen of Denmark and like I mention before her position in the family as well as in the country needs to be shown. The colors of Gertrude’s dresses would be strong tones to match her attitude and demand; since being the queen gives her power to make decisions. As the director I chose one of the dress’ colors to be red because it’s a powerful color that can also represent blood. Blood can represent conflict between Gertrude and Hamlet, because he does not agree her being married to his uncle Claudius. ” Fie on’t! O fie! ’tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. That it should come to this! But two months dead!—nay, not so much, not two: 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 too roughly. Heaven and earth! Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on: and yet, within a month,— Let me not think on’t,—Frailty, thy name is woman!— A little month; or ere those shoes were old With which she followed my poor father’s body Like Niobe, all tears;—why she, even she,— O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourn’d longer,—married with mine uncle, My father’s brother; but no more like my father Than I to Hercules: within a month; Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married: - O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not, nor it cannot come to good; But break my heart,—for I must hold my tongue” (Act I scene II, 137-158). The color red can also represent the” royal blood” that she carries for being the queen of Denmark. Queen Gertrude would also be wearing the color purple because this color has always been considered royal.

Hamlet would also be wearing very expensive clothes because he is the son of the dead King Hamlet. Being named after his father puts a lot of pressure on Hamlet; since he needs to live by his father’s greatness. Everyone considered King Hamlet a great king, this makes Hamlet have to give a good impression. This is why Hamlet’s costume is a key to his character. Being the prince of Denmark from the 1900’s Hamlet would be wearing a royal sword that can show he has power.

As the director of this play/movie I would use very loud sound effects to show the tension where Hamlet is angry at the fact that Queen Gertrude his mother is making him live in the castle. Queen: “Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet. I pray thee, stay with us. Go not to Wittenberg” (Act I scene II, lines 122-123). Also adding a moment of suspense where Hamlet feels like he needs to follow her orders because she is still her mother. Hamlet: “I shall in all my best obey you, madam” (Act I scene II, line 124). Hamlet is also amazed at the fact that his mother was able to move on so quick after King Hamlet’s death, who is Hamlet’s father. Hamlet is disgusted by the fact that she has forgotten about his father and moved on to his uncle. Queen Gertrude’s demands and attitude towards Hamlet can use background sounds to emphasize the anger, and perhaps sarcasm between the two characters. Queen: “Good Hamlet, cast thy knighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailed lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity” (Act I scene II, lines 70-75).

The volume would be somewhat high, and the music/ or sound effects would be classical music from the 1900’s that reflect the time period. The genre of the music and sound effects would be classical from the 1900’s as I mention before. As the Director I believe it’s important to emphasize the originality of Shakespeare in his plays, this is why it’s also important to include the genre, and time period of the play. This would help the audience connect with the movie for a furthermore understanding of theme.

The character of Queen Gertrude would deliver her lines in a very sarcastic and demanding manner in Act I scene II. Her character is represented by a careless mother who demonstrates that her interest for wealth and position goes far more than her interest on how her son Hamlet views her. Being able to marry King Claudius right after King Hamlet’s death; shows that she was far more interested keeping her royal status, than the love that she ever felt for King Hamlet. Queen: “Good Hamlet, cast thy knighted color off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not forever with thy vailed lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust. Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity” (Act I scene II, lines 70-75). I think this passage is very important as a scene in the movie because it displays her detachment from King Hamlet. Emphasizing everyone will eventually die. Hamlet: “Ay, madam, it is common” (Act I scene II, line 76). Queen: “If it be, Why seems it so particular with thee?” (Act I scene II, lines 77-78). Hamlet: “ Seems”, madam, Nay it is. I know not “seems” ‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, mother, nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forcedbreath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected havior of the visage, Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, that can (denote) me truly. These indeed “seem,” For they are actions that a man might play: But I have that within which passes show, These but the trappings and the suits of woe” ( Act I scene II, lines 79-89). Finally casting the character of Queen Gertrude would show a possessive person who most of the times is attached to things humans end up losing after death; like money and power. Her character demonstrates a person whose only interest is to keep her power and royal status; perhaps a way Shakespeare foreshadows her downfall where the Queen ends up with nothing that is worth; like her son Prince Hamlet.

Mr. G said...

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

Cristiane S 7 said...

As the director of this play/movie I would set the stage to be present day at Malden High School
This would help the viewers have a better perspective of what us teenagers go through now a days.
In this scene Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, and Claudius are having a discussion because Hamlet doesn’t want to leave his studies and because he doesn’t agree with his mom being together with Claudius right after his father’s death. Because of this conflict, I would set the stage in the dark and gloomy hallways of C house. This would give the scene an intensive mood. As the director I would place Hamlet, Queen Gertrude and Claudius in a circle classified as the popular ones, with everyone else around them watching them argue. Having the characters being classified as the popular ones will give their argument more meaning.

The character’s costumes would also be from present day. Gertrude would be like the dramatic blond girls in our school. Dressed in expansive clothing. Claudius’s outfit would be a normal t-shirt and jeans. Both their clothes would have dark colors such as red, black or brown representing their sin for committing adultery. “Let me not think on t; frailty, thy name is women! A little month, or ere those shoes were old… O God, a beast that wants discourse if reason would have mourned longer! Married with my uncle” (lines 150-155). Hamlet would be dressed all in black, but also in a very fashionable way because of course he is the son of the dead king. As the director I choose black representing death and sadness. Hamlet’s appearance would be very angry and at the same time disgusted by his mother. “O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew…How stale and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!... that is should come to this”(lines 133-141). This shows Hamlet’s remorse and disgust for his mother. He’s really angry and unable to believe that she would be able to do such thing.

As I analyzed Act 1 scene 2, I focused more on hamlet and how he feels about his mother being with Claudius. It is very obvious that hamlet is ashamed of this whole situation. I decided as a director that while hamlet’s lines are being delivered to Queen Gertrude and King Claudius, I would play “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, by Louis Armstrong”. His lines would be delivered in a mad but also sad tone, so this song would represent hamlets feelings and thoughts. . The song would be played softly in the back, but and his tone of anger increased the volume of the song would also increase. For both The Queen and King they’re lines would be delivered sarcastically because they don’t seem to care at all about their scandal.