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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: November ::
Re: Jacobi's Hamlet
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0919.  Monday, 14 November 1994.
 
From:           Juliet A. Youngren <
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Date:           Saturday, 12 Nov 1994 15:51:10 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Jacobi's Hamlet
 
I have enjoyed reading people's reminiscences of Jacobi's Hamlet.  It was the
first version I ever saw--I couldn't have been more than about 12 when it was
first shown on television here, but I sat through the whole thing with the
collected works on my lap to check the hard parts. Recently I saw it again and
was pleased at how well it held up.  I'd say it's still my favorite version.
 
I especially enjoyed how he did the "rogue and peasant slave" speech with a
wooden sword the players had left behind and used it to great effect on the
lines "Bloody, bawdy villain!  Remorseless, kindless, lecherous, treacherous
villain!  O, vengeance!":  he raised the sword over his head as if attacking an
imaginary Claudius and declaimed the lines as if they came from a slightly
sensational play.
 
By the way, he did not overhear the King and Polonius plotting to set Ophelia
on him, and the "to be or not to be" speech was delivered directly to the
audience (or camera).  He suspected Ophelia was up to something when he saw she
was holding her book upside down--a small liberty with the script, I suppose,
but a neat way of communicating to the audience why he reacted to her as he
did.
 
J.A.Y.
 

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