Audience to This Act: Hamlet Essay

Audience to This Act: Hamlet Essay

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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 he...


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...Ophelia more than he did. Ophelia on the other hand, is often seen crying or pleading for help, like when she begs Hamlet to stop insulting her (Act 3, scene i) instead of retaliating with her own words. This particular portrayal of Hamlet and Ophelia is the stereotypical strong male and weak female.
In the David Tennant version of Hamlet, the character flaws of both Hamlet and Ophelia are made very obvious to the audience by their behavior towards others, their physical appearance, and their responses to tragedies. Although Hamlet is portrayed as a stronger character than Ophelia, in the end it does not matter because their innate flaws lead to their demise. The Tennant version of Hamlet is so powerful because Hamlet and Ophelia’s character flaws are portrayed in such an obvious way, with their physical actions conveying a much stronger message than spoken words.

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