Tuesday, November 19, 2013

HWK: For Wednesday...

(Yes, you must watch all the clips - your responses need not be long.)
Bring your answers to class - hand written is fine!

ACT II, Scene II (Part 2)
1. In the scene above, what interesting choices does David Tennant make as Hamlet?

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - enter at minute 2.

2. (Again, from the scene above) what do you find most interesting in this conversation below?

Denmark's a prison.
ROSENCRANTZThen is the world one.
HAMLETA goodly one; in which there are many confines,
wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst.
ROSENCRANTZWe think not so, my lord.240
HAMLETWhy, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
it is a prison.
ROSENCRANTZWhy then, your ambition makes it one; 'tis too
narrow for your mind.
HAMLETO God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count
myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I
have bad dreams.
GUILDENSTERNWhich dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
HAMLETA dream itself is but a shadow.251
ROSENCRANTZTruly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow's shadow.
HAMLETThen are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we
to the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason.
GUILDENSTERNWe'll wait upon you.
HAMLETNo such matter: I will not sort you with the rest
of my servants, for, to speak to you like an honest
man, I am most dreadfully attended. But, in the
beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore?261
ROSENCRANTZTo visit you, my lord; no other occasion.
HAMLETBeggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I
thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are
too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it
your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.
GUILDENSTERNWhat should we say, my lord?
HAMLETWhy, any thing, but to the purpose. You were sent
for; and there is a kind of confession in your looks
which your modesties have not craft enough to colour:
I know the good king and queen have sent for you.272
ROSENCRANTZTo what end, my lord?
HAMLETThat you must teach me. But let me conjure you, by
the rights of our fellowship, by the consonancy of
our youth, by the obligation of our ever-preserved
love, and by what more dear a better proposer could
charge you withal, be even and direct with me,
whether you were sent for, or no?
HAMLET[Aside] Nay, then, I have an eye of you.--If you
love me, hold not off.281
GUILDENSTERNMy lord, we were sent for.
HAMLETI will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king
and queen moult no feather. I have of late--but
wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not
me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling301
you seem to say so.

ACT II, Scene II (Part 3)
The Players:

3. In the passage written below (and the one that you just watched above), what has happened that Polonius finds so remarkable?

First Player:
But if the gods themselves did see here then
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs,490
The instant burst of clamour that she made,
Unless things mortal move them not at all,
Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
And passion in the gods.'
LORD POLONIUS:Look, whether he has not turned his colour and has

tears in's eyes. Pray you, no more.

4. Which "O what a rogue and peasant slave am I" Soliloquy do you find most compelling and why?

 A. Kenneth Branaugh

B. Richard Burton
C. David Tennant

For online text: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/hamlet_2_2.html

Now I am alone.520
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,530
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,540
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?
'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall550
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,560
A scullion!
Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! I have heard
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;570
I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play 's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

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