The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0198 Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Date: August 15, 2011 9:37:34 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Ophelia
Thank you to those who wrote with their thoughts on how Ophelia fits within the larger scheme of things, and particularly for the pointer to the article on Korean Hamlets (which I haven't tracked down yet, but which sounds exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to hear about) and the comments on other specific productions, as well as the difference in Q1.
I have been watching the glorious "Slings and Arrows", thanks to the tip-off from this list. The only thing I would change in the practically perfect first series is the rather weak response of the leading lady when her ex asks her why she cheated on him with the director when they were both performing in _Hamlet_. She says only "He was my director", missing an opportunity to say something more along the lines of what I bet many in her situation have felt: "You were Hamlet. Everything was always about you. You have no idea what it's like to be Ophelia, when everything is always about Hamlet, all the time."
I'm not arguing that the play should be "about" Ophelia, but she does prompt me to reflect on the two very different schools of thought about playing supporting characters. Some believe the messenger needs to remember they are just the messenger; others believe that, as we all feel ourselves to be the centre of our own story, the messenger will give the more convincing performance if they are permitted to behave accordingly.
Thanks again for your thoughts,
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