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Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice: Hamlet. Queen Elizabeth’s advanced age and poor health leads to the precarious state of the succession to the British crown. Queen Elizabeth by Nicholas Hilliard (1585) Hatfield House.

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Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice: Hamlet

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Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice: Hamlet

  • Queen Elizabeth’s advanced age and poor health leads to the precarious state of the succession to the British crown.

Queen Elizabeth by Nicholas Hilliard (1585)Hatfield House


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

  • Hence, Shakespeare’s decision to mount a production of Hamlet, with its usurped throne and internally disordered state, comes as no surprise.


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

  • Shakespeare's "Hamlet" was a remake of an already popular play, based on an episode from the Dark Ages, the lawless, might-makes-right era that followed the collapse of Roman-era civilization.

Ophelia


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

  • Ophelia’s characterization of Hamlet may be intended to suggest the Earl of Essex.

The portrait of Earl of Essex


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

  • Another contemporary historical figure, the Lord Treasurer, Burghley, has been seen by some in the character of Polonius.

The Lord Treasurer, Burghley


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

Knowing about eleventh-century Danish court life or about Elizabethan England is particularly germane to analysis of Hamlet.


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

  • In Hamlet’s day the Danish throne was an elective one. The royal council, composed of the most powerful nobles in the land, named the next king.

The third quarto of Hamlet (1605); a straight reprint of the 2nd quarto (1604)


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

Hamlet, Gertrude and the ghost

  • The custom of the throne’s descending to the oldest son of the late monarch had not yet crystallized into law.


The charge of incest against the claudius

The charge of incest against the Claudius

  • Although her second marriage to the brother of her deceased husband would not be considered incestuous today by many civil and religious codes, it was so to considered in Shakespeare’s day.

Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard, 1839


What is melancholy to elizabethans

What is “melancholy” to Elizabethans?

  • Nervous instability.

  • Rapid and extreme changes of feeling and mood.

  • The disposition to be for the time absorbed in a dominant feeling or mood, whether joyous or depressed.

Hamlet and the grave diggers by Jean Dagnan-Bouverte


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

  • If we examine Hamlet’s actions and speeches closely in an Elizabethan’s eyes, we will realize that at least part of Hamlet’s problem is that he is a victim of extreme melancholy.

Ophelia drowned


Different versions of hamlet

Different versions of Hamlet

Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet

Hamlet in Germany

Hamlet in Germany

The Raj Hamlet

Shakespeare set in India


Many hamlets

Many Hamlets

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet

Mel Gibson as Hamlet, with Glenn Close as Gertrude

Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet

Richard Burton as Hamlet


Historical and biographical approaches in practice hamlet

Ethan Hawke as Hamlet, with Julia Stiles as Ophelia

Campbell Scott as Hamlet

Ethan Hawke as Hamlet

Kevin Kline as Hamlet, with Dana Ivey as Gertrude


Shamlet

Shamlet! 莎姆雷特劇照

莎姆雷特官網

「莎姆雷特」彩排,水晶燈掉落


Related links and resources about shakespeare and hamlet

Related links and Resources about Shakespeare and Hamlet

  • The life of Queen Elizabeth– http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/elizabio.htm

  • BBC- Drama- 60 seconds Shakespearehttp://0rz.net/e61U6

  • 屏風表演班 <<莎姆雷特>> http://www.pingfong.com.tw/shamlet2006/shamlet_02.htm

  • Kakiseni.com– our Hamlet http://www.kakiseni.com/articles/features/MDYyNA.html

  • Hamlet in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet


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