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Old 20-06-2014, 08:23 PM   #561
lightgiver
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Lightbulb To Bee Or Not To Bee


Quote:
"To be or not to be..." is the opening phrase of a soliloquy in the "Nunnery Scene" of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet..In the speech, a despondent or feigning Prince Hamlet contemplates death and suicide. He bemoans the pains and unfairness of life but acknowledges the alternative might be still worse. The speech functions within the play to explain Hamlet's hesitation to directly and immediately avenge his father's murder (discovered in Act I) on his uncle, stepfather, and new king Claudius. Claudius and his minister Polonius are preparing to eavesdrop on Hamlet's interaction with Ophelia...

Quote:
In Ophelia's first speaking appearance in the play, she is seen with her brother, Laertes, who is leaving for France. Laertes warns her that Hamlet, the heir to the throne of Denmark, does not have the freedom to marry whomever he wants.. Ophelia's father, Polonius, enters while Laertes is leaving, and also forbids Ophelia to pursue Hamlet, who he fears is not earnest about her..In Ophelia's next appearance, she tells Polonius that Hamlet rushed into her room with his clothing askew, and with a "hellish" expression on his face, and only stared at her and nodded three times, without speaking to her. Based on what Ophelia told him, Polonius concludes that he was wrong to forbid Ophelia to see Hamlet, and that Hamlet must be mad because of lovesickness for her.. Polonius immediately decides to go to Claudius (the new King of Denmark, and also Hamlet's uncle and stepfather) about the situation. Polonius later suggests to Claudius that they hide behind an arras (a hanging tapestry) to overhear Hamlet speaking to Ophelia when Hamlet thinks the conversation is private.. Since Polonius is now sure that Hamlet is lovesick for Ophelia, he thinks Hamlet will express love for her Claudius agrees to try the eavesdropping plan later..


The plan leads to what is commonly called the 'Nunnery Scene'.. Polonius instructs Ophelia to stand in the lobby of the castle while he and Claudius hide. Hamlet enters the room, in a different world from the others, and recites his "To be, or not to be" soliloquy. Hamlet approaches Ophelia and talks to her. He tells her, "Get thee to a nunnery." Hamlet becomes angry, realizes he has gone too far, and says, "I say we will have no more marriages", and exits. Ophelia is left bewildered and heartbroken, sure that Hamlet is insane. After Hamlet storms out, Ophelia makes her "O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown" soliloquy..

In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude, in her monologue (There is a willow grows aslant the brook), reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree, and then a branch broke and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned. Gertrude says that Ophelia appeared "incapable of her own distress". Gertrude's announcement of Ophelia's death has been praised as one of the most poetic death announcements in literature..The early modern stage in England had an established set of emblematic conventions for the representation of female madness: dishevelled hair worn down, dressed in white, bedecked with wild flowers, Ophelia's state of mind would have been immediately 'readable' to her first audiences.. "Colour was a major source of stage symbolism", Andrew Gurr explains, so the contrast between Hamlet's "nighted colour" (1.2.68) and "customary suits of solemn black" (1.2.78) and Ophelia's "virginal and vacant white" would have conveyed specific and gendered associations.. Her action of offering wild flowers to the court suggests, Showalter argues, a symbolic deflowering, while even the manner of her 'doubtful death', by drowning, carries associations with the feminine (Laertes refers to his tears on hearing the news as "the woman")...Gender structured, too, the early modern understanding of the distinction between Hamlet's madness and Ophelia's: melancholy was understood as a male disease of the intellect, while Ophelia would have been understood as suffering from erotomania, a malady conceived in biological and emotional terms.. This discourse of female madness influenced Ophelia's representation on stage from the 1660s, when the appearance of actresses in the English theatres first began to introduce "new meanings and subversive tensions" into the role: "the most celebrated of the actresses who played Ophelia were those whom rumor credited with disappointments in love." Showalter relates a theatrical anecdote that vividly captures this sense of overlap between a performer's identity and the role she plays...

During the 18th century, the conventions of Augustan drama encouraged far less intense, more sentimentalized and decorous depictions of Ophelia's madness and sexuality. From Mrs Lessingham in 1772 to Mary Bolton, playing opposite John Kemble in 1813, the familiar iconography of the role replaced its passionate embodiment. Sarah Siddons played Ophelia's madness with "stately and classical dignity" in 1785...A soliloquy (from Latin solo "to oneself" + loquor "I talk") is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience..Soliloquies were frequently used in dramas but went out of fashion when drama shifted towards realism in the late 18th century..There are several soliloquies in Macbeth, "Is this a dagger which I see before me?" being an example. also "yes:this my hand will rather, The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red"..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophelia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bees_in_His_Bonnet
http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showp...&postcount=113If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile ...Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio - a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath bore me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung these lips that I have kissed I know not how oft.. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar...http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showp...&postcount=478

Last edited by lightgiver; 20-06-2014 at 08:51 PM.
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