Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1415 Monday, 29 August 2005
From: John Reed <
Date: Friday, 26 Aug 2005 16:19:36 +0000
Subject: Re: Joshua Logan and Hamlet
Someone mentions Hamlet: ok, I'll strike at that lure. What Mr. Logan
seems to be describing is the old anagnorisis. That might be a good
principle for some stories. For instance, we find it in The Seven
Samurai, when Kambei (Takashi Shimura) says, "We lost." And also in The
Bridge on the River Kwai, when Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness) says -- at
least I think he says -- "What have I done?" This is leaving aside
Oedipus or anything the Greek theoreticians had to say.
Hamlet: I've been over and over this text, and I don't see anywhere he
has the same experience. Claudius does (when he tries to pray), but not
Hamlet. Hamlet seems to me to be going in the opposite mental
direction. He becomes progressively incapable of seeing what he himself
has done wrong, and there is plenty. In a religious sense (if there's
anybody here interested in that kind of thing), he might be said to
exhibit a seared conscience.
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