Audience To This Act Essay

1446 words - 6 pages

The story of Hamlet is very well known: Hamlet’s father is killed, Hamlet’s mother marries the evil Uncle, everyone thinks Hamlet has gone mad, and almost everyone dies at the end of the play. The play also includes the classic ill -fated love story, which in this case involves Hamlet and Ophelia. In David Tennant’s version of Hamlet, Hamlet and Ophelia have many similar character flaws. These character flaws manifest themselves in several different ways, which ultimately leads to the downfall of these characters.
The similar physical antics displayed by Hamlet and Ophelia throughout the play portray these characters as childlike and emotionally unstable. The antics displayed by Hamlet give us a better view of his true character, which is fickle, unpredictable, and insane. He leaps about in the play as if he were a small child trying to get his mother’s attention. His wild antics in front of the court show us how fleeting his thoughts are, which validates the idea that he has lost his sanity. Hamlet’s childlike antics also include physical contact, and that behavior is usually shown when he is mad about something, an example being when Hamlet discovers that Polonius and Claudius spied on him, and he put himself in Ophelia’s personal space (Act 3, scene i). Hamlet’s disregard for personal space is also very clear when his mother orders him to her chamber after the play-within-a-play (Act 3, scene iv). He gets angry at his mother, about her marrying his Uncle, who does not fully understand why Hamlet has such a vendetta against Claudius. Ophelia displayed her childlike behavior through physical antics when she sings a song for Gertrude and Claudius, as she runs around the room throwing flowers at them, shortly after the death of her father (Act 4, scene vii). She relied on her father for emotional support, and with that gone, she becomes very emotionally unstable.
Not only do Hamlet and Ophelia display similar physical antics that make them seem childish, they also show a tendency for these antics to become violent, clearly showing they are both very disturbed individuals. After Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy, he becomes very violent towards Ophelia when he tells her that he never wrote her love notes, never truly loved her, and that she should enter a convent (Act 3, scene i). In this fit of rage, Hamlet throws himself at Ophelia multiple times, spins her around, and causes her to fall several times. Another violent scene is when Hamlet is in his mother’s chamber after the play-within-a-play (Act 3, scene iv). Hamlet corners his mother against her vanity, and when she tries to get up, he grabs her shoulders and shakes her back and forth as if he is trying to shake some sense into her, and make her understand why Claudius is evil. Hamlet is unable to put his feelings for Claudius into words, and resorts to physical violence to express his hatred for him. Ophelia’s violence manifests itself when she sings about the death of her father and...

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