Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hamlet Video Critique Act 3 Scene 1

In Alexander Fodor’s rendition of Hamlet’s soliloquy, feelings of the modern world are brought up through the use of technology and young characters. Though Hamlet was written long ago, the video brings out a modern feel which can attract the young mind. Unlike the other two videos, it uses technology that was not available in Hamlet’s setting. Also, the characters used are young unlike the characters used in the other two videos which are older looking.

The video begins with the camera focusing on a voice recorder in a room which has bright lighting. Obviously this is something not available during Hamlet’s day. Before Hamlet’s Soliloquy begins, many things occur in which give the audience something to think about before the speech begins. After the camera angle moves away from the voice recorder, we see the main character, Hamlet, who will soon begin his soliloquy. After viewing the main character, the scene changes to where he is with a woman. The woman exists the scene and he bends over to kiss what seems to be a dead man. The camera changes back to the face of the main character but now the lights have gotten brighter than before. After, the camera moves back to show the main character and the voice recorder. He turns on the voice recorder and his soliloquy begins.

As the soliloquy begins with “To be, or not to be, that is the question”(55), the main character has a staring gaze. Deep in thought, he continues. “Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep-No more”(58-60) The faces of three teenagers are shown, including his own. They stand in a bright white room. They’re facing glowing green, also with a staring gaze on their faces. Alexander Fodor uses these lines with the scene of the three teenagers in order to show their innocence. They do not know of what troubles are being spoken of or when they will die. Two of the teenagers are girls. They seem to be staring at the speaker while the other teenager who is with them, who is the same person as the speaker, is looking down. He is looking away from death. The bright lights attract the girls.

The camera quickly switches to the speaker, then to a scene where what seems to be a dead man lays. A woman kisses him on the head and the speaker continues. “To die, to sleep-To sleep, perchance to dream”(63-64). The scene with the dead man shows that true sleep may be death where all pain is erased. Dreams come at a risk that the person may not come back to reality. The speaker then skips lines 65 to 68 and continues with line 69. “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely”(69-70) The scene switches back and fourth from these two scenes a few times, from the speaker to kissing the dead man. This is done in order to show what pain may cause. The dead man, no longer feels pain, while the speaker is left in the world and feels so much pain that he wishes he was not alive. He continues the speech, now the camera focusing on him. The camera gets closer and closer to his face and his eye. Half his face is visible when he says “Thus conscience does make cowards [of us all]”(82). This statement shows how being alive is the cause of pain for everyone including himself.

From all three videos, Alexander Fodor’s video is the best interpretation of the lines from Hamlet’s soliloquy. The use of images of a dead man, light, and teenagers shows the audience what the speaker is saying. The light symbolizes life, the dead man symbolizes death, and the teenagers symbolize the people who are suffering through life. These images connect better with the newer audience for it uses more modern ideas for its image than the other videos.

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