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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: January ::
R: Jacobi Hamlet; Q: Burton Hamlet
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 4.  Tuesday, 5 January 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Kevin Berland <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Jan 93 19:47 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0003  Jacobi Hamlet
 
(2)     From:   Leo Daugherty <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jan 93 01:54:15 -0800
        Subj:   Onscreen Hamlets
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin Berland <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Jan 93 19:47 EST
Subject: 4.0003  Jacobi Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0003  Jacobi Hamlet
 
As the party who introduced the topic of the Jacobi/BBC Hamlet, I feel
compelled to reply to the criticism of the "wimp" Ophelia: I agree with your
evaluation -- except for three places: 1) the startled look toward the place
Polonius and Claudius are hiding when Hamlet asks her where her father is and
the studious avoidance of the spot thereafter, as she painfully goes through
the lie knowing Hamlet knows, and knows that she knows, &c. -- 2) the concept
that she is really rather ordinary, not powerful, not especially interesting,
but "nice" -- because tragedy destroys the bystanders, too  [I find Ophelias
who are intellectual and moral matches for Hamlet anachronistic and beside the
point]; -- and 3) the rage and "bullying" is nicely framed by Jacobi's
emphasis, "They *have* made me mad", staring at his hands.
 
So, good people, what of this last point?  Is Jacobi acknowledging Hamlet's
madness, extending the mad act, or acknowledging the fineness of the line
between furious actions undertaken while feigning madness and furious actions
generated by real madness -- or what?
 
Oh, and happy new year.
 
Kevin Berland
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leo Daugherty <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jan 93 01:54:15 -0800
Subject:        Onscreen Hamlets
 
I think I've seen most of the screen Hamlets -- some of them several
times -- starting with the very corny Olivier many years ago, and
running on through Nicole Williamson, Derek Jacobi, and Mel Gibson.
I really didn't like any of them much.  But I DID like Richard
Burton's Hamlet very much -- which I think was shot on video from
a performance (in maybe 1963 or 1964) and then shown in a few
theaters around the country.  I'd love to see it again, and I find
that I'm always wanting to show it to my students when I teach the
play.  So I thought I'd post this note to ask:  does anybody know
how I can get a copy?  (Ideally, I'd like to have one for our
college library.)  I'd also like to know what any other SHAKSPEReans
who may have seen the Burton think of it now.
 
Thanks.
 
                                 Leo Daugherty
                                 The Evergreen State College
 

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