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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: November ::
Re: Branagh
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1189  Friday, 27 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Kristine Batey <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Nov 1998 09:48:23 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Branagh

[2]     From:   Benjamin Sher <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Nov 1998 00:14:30 -0500
        Subj:   Claudius' Crown? -- Branagh's Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kristine Batey <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Nov 1998 09:48:23 -0600
Subject:        Re: Branagh

Hugh Grady wrote:

>Am I the only one who thought Branagh stole the panning shot of Hamlet
>just before the intermission from Scarlett O'Hara's "I'll never be
>hungry again" soliloquy.
>
>Obviously I'm doing anything to keep from grading papers.

I'm willing to grant that it was an unconscious, but unfortunate,
imitation. We saw it on video at our house, and it cracked up my
(admittedly easily crackupable) family.

Personally, I'm doing this to keep from sorting faculty search
materials.

Ain't Cyberworld great???

Kristine Batey
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Benjamin Sher <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Nov 1998 00:14:30 -0500
Subject:        Claudius' Crown? -- Branagh's Hamlet.

Dear Colleagues:

In my opinion, Branagh's Hamlet is superlative in every respect.

HOWEVER, I can't help but wonder about one detail: the crown or rather
the absence of the crown. Neither Claudius nor Gertrude wear one. Not
once, not even on official occasions, do we see them wearing a crown. No
doubt Branagh, the director, wanted to make a point, most probably a
subtle comment on Claudius' illegitimate rule.

In my opinion, Claudius's usurpation of the throne would have been even
more dramatically illustrated had Claudius worn the crown. It would also
have made more dramatic, historical and psychological sense. It is hard
to believe that someone as ambitious as Claudius would have resisted the
temptation to wear the crown. It is even harder to understand how he
could have refused to wear the crown on official occasions, when, I
assume, even the most legitimate of monarchs was called upon to wear it
along with the other trappings of his office. And as a cinematic symbol,
it would have been extraordinarily powerful. I am sure Branagh, with his
fabulous command of cinematic devices, could have "played" endless
variations on the crown and its significance.

What do others think?

Benjamin
 

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