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Hamlet (Cambridge School Shakespeare)

Hamlet (Cambridge School Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, Rex Gibson, Richard Andrews [Edit: originally written Saturday 22 October 2011]CELEBRITYHR DEATH MATHC REVIEWS [Edit: Link ]HALMLET V. WINNIERTTHE POYHHGhost of marrry popplins: See ho! there be the hell-toad which dispatched me last round@! Be not indecisive! Make fair thine blasde!Hamlet: (plunging swormd into Winne the Posh): Worms meat of you!~ VILLAIN!!!Winnei ther Pooh: (much honey leaking out the swrod) OHMY GOD! CALUMNEY, SAVE ME WALT DISNEY!!!!Walt Disney: I am not a ghost… my head is suspended in cryorgentic fluids! I am but a motal man.Hamlet: (pulled thesweord out of WtP) I accept your resignation.*Opehlia: My hero!! I’m back from the nummery!MATCH POIINT HAMLET!!!______________________________*I was thinking about what I could do for this round and it’s really hard for me (TWSS) because I really want to do a good job for Halmmlte (ughh… “Big H” from now on) and not fuckup and let Winnie the Pooih (WP) win. I really deep down thing that Hamlret is for serious one of the all-time most genius peicese of literature ever… so great, I have been on GR for like three years, and I still can’t think of how to review it. That’s when it hit me… the magic of DBR and the power to rise to the occasion(TWSS) will let me… rise to the oocasaion. It’s like me and Johnny Walker: WONDERHOOD POWER TWINS ACTIVATE!!! FORM OF … A BOTTLE OF SCOTCH!!! SHAPEOF ME DRINKING THE BOTTLE OF SCOTCH!!!! We will save the truly deserving literature in celebrity detahrhmatch from cutesy puppet show kids books about talking stuffed animals…. You know, I get the appeal on one hand, and it’s sweet that Christropher robinis hangs out with his puppet friends, but this is not reality, Winnie the Pooh, and I’m NOT saying that Crisrytoph Robing has to be some jaded child prostitute meth addict finance oligarch or anything like that… but look at the fact that there are no adults at all in that book (that you see).. It’s just like on Charlie Brown where nobody sees the adults, and they all talk like wawaswwawawawseaeaaeweasewaaaaaa. If youre writing a kids book, and you can’t figure out some way to fit adults into it, then YOU NEED TO GET A GRIP ON REALITY, because adults are like a major major major factor in kids’ lives. That’s why when you look at “scarey” moveies made for really little kids, what do they go for every single time? That’s’ right: taking away the parents… because what is scarier than something taking away your parents when you‘re so little? Bambi? her mother burned up in the fire (?I think) Dumbo? His mother was put in chains and locked away. Little Mermaid? Her father… I forget but some damn thing, is not otoimprotant. (Oh, how I hate that those are all Disrney examples) So Winnei the Pooh is an exeercise in irrelevence. It is that sort of unreality… a pernicious Non-reality which burdens and confounds the untrained minds of the future generations. And of course not just him,but pervasive through the entire pop culture. What was the most popular show that probably everybody in my generation saw? The Brady Bunch. It was a late 60’s /early 70s show about kids in high school and junior high all living together in one house… so much going on back then, yet do they ever even once mention the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassinations, Watergate, drugs, free love, hippies, Martin Luther King, womens’ lib, black power, Nixon taking America off the gold standard in August 1971, David Rockeffelter founding the Trilateral Commission in1973? No… not one episode. They could have done a “very special episode”. But fiction doesn’t always have to incorporate these things, and is for escape too sometimes, so okay to leave this ourt, I’m just saying, and I’m not a parent, and I have no credibility in offering parenltly advice, but my advice to you who shape young people’s minds is to please, please be careful not to fuck them up, because it is very easy to do, and they are at a young and formative state, trying to collect information about the whole universe and put it together in some meaningful way, and even when everything is going right, there is just too much opportunity to make mistakes. Asimple examplae is my parents used to have the Jim Croci (Crochi? Crochey? Croce?…????) record with “Bad Bad Leroy brown” and there was a lyric…. he had a 32 gun in his pocket for fun, he had a razor in his shoe. … but my dad didn’t shave with straightedge blade, he had an electric razor, that just looked like a black box with a metal screen on one end, and kind of buzzed and vibrated when dad shaved, so since that was what was in our house, that was the only razor I knew, so I was walking around like an idiot for, like literally YEARS, wondering how Leroy bronw could fit a razor like that in his shoe,a dn beyond that even, trying to make some sense of what significance there should be in somebody walking around with a razor like that in their shoe and what the fuck Jim Croce expected me to think about Bad Leroy Brown, that he would even be bringing up this very cryptic fact about him in a song, where the whole song is only about three minutes long, and is mostly about how bad he is, meaner than a junkyaerd dog, beat people up, etc. It was a total WTF moment that ruins the whole mood. If you look at how harmless and electric razor looks than you know what I’m talking about. [insert a pic of electroc reazor][Edit:] But of course this isn’t even the only example.. I don’t get what it is that parents tell kids about Santa, and Ester bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and of course these are all ultimately exposed as fictions, and then these same parents despair when their kids don’t embrace the family’s religious traditions, including faith (probably) in some God who requires faith in the unseen and unknown. You reap what you sow, you know? So what did you expect telling the kid abunch of lies about people and things unseen which don’t exist, and it’s all big joke on the kid when he finds out the truth, but then also throw in God, who isa lso unseen but expect that the kid really will continue to have respect for this idea and somehow wee that THIS ONE IS DIFFIERENT. Well,, to a lot of people it’s not, so be careful what lies you go around telling. So that’s Winnie the Poph too: undermining the philopsophies that have held together western civilization for thousands of years and leading every child down the pathway to utter nihilism and desolation of the soul. But this will not be a negative review towards Winne the Pphh, but rather POSITIVE about the many goodqualityes of Hamlmet. Eveyrbodyt says oh Hamlet wias indecisive. Here was a man who could not make up his mind. And okay, that is totally legimteirmate to say about him. First he believed his father’s ghost was real and true and accurate, but then he got to thinkning about it later and thought maybe it was a product of his grieving mind, or maybe an evil spirit sent to confuse and confound him, so that’s when Hamltet decided he had to ferret out Caludius’as guilt by putting on the play “tehe Meoutse trap”.. Okay, so he changed his mind. Anotehr example is after the murder of polonius, hamlet sees Claudius alone in his chamber,and at first hamlet is like “yeah, this is my chance to kill him”, but then he sees Cluadius is griving and kind of trying to pray and beg forgiveness… so hamlet doesn’t want to kill him when he is going to be forgiven for all his sins. One one hand that is changing ones’ mind, but really it is reassesemnet with more reflection on the situation. If Hamlet was a politician, everybody would say HO HO FLIP FLOP, but since when is it a crime to reassess a situation and make an informed decsion to change policy or strategy in the face of changing cirucmstances or new information? What’s the opposite of Hamlet… man who couldn’t make up his mind? It’s George W Bushj, man who COULD make up his mind… and never change it no matter how much reality stared you in the face telling you you made the wrong decision. So I’m pretty sure I know which one I would rather be. And the beautiful langueage? So beautiful… I can’t say it now, and lets mot cut and paste just to fill the spaces, but you go read it and see how poetic and lvely and timelessly beautiful this language is. HAHAHAHA OHMY GOD BEFORE I FORGET ABOUT LANGUAGE get a load of this…the Japanese official, non-slang, totally accepted in poilite company word for uvula is “nodachindo” which “noda” means throat and “chindo” (or more commonly chin-chin in common speak) mean penis! THROAT PENIS! Look it up if you don’t believe me! There is like so much potential for jokes there, but you want to know what? People don’t think about the literal translation when they use the word for uvula.., they’re like blah,blah,blah throat penis blah blah blah and nobody even thinks about it. And I totally get that too, because I remember distinctly when it hit me I was like 15 (so embarrassing how old I was) when I was thinking about “envelope“, like the noun, a like paper envelope, and I just kind of realized that it’s from the verb “to envelope” like the (noun) envnelope ENVELOPES the letter that you put into it!! See how language is interesting like that? That’s another point for Hamletr not Weinne the Pooh.OH- ANOTHER ONE… “To be or not tobe” … hamlet considers himself taking his own life, even thought at the beginning of the play he said “Oh.. If God had not fortified his (something) agaist self-slaughter”… so first he was aginst suidcide but then he was thinking about it… Yeah, but a lot of shit went down between those two scenes, so entirely reasonable to reassess the situation to make sure you still don’t want tokill yourself.And isn’t is tragic about Ophelir? Ceridawen siad it much better in her review about a “broken mind”, and of course that’s what it is. The tragedy of losing her father, so she goes mad.. And isn’t it quite a weird contrast between ophplrea (Big O from now on) because she ghooes mad “therses are pansies, these are for thoughts” and drowns just because she doesn’t thnk in her madness to swim… she is like five standard deviations from the norm on the grieving bell curve… but then look at her brother Lairtes… granted, he comes back to kill Hamlet (Hamlet killed his father polonius, if you didn’t read it), but right before the swwred fight, Hamlet gives this totally off-the wall speech about “I loved you, I never did anything to you… if I offended you, it was my madness, not me, the actual Hmlet!” NEVER DID ANYTHING TO OFFEND ME??! YOU KILLED MY DAD!!! So Hamlet’s problem sometimes is not indecsion, but maybe more like lack of insight. But my point is that if Laertes was really grieving, he’d rip Hamlet’s head off for saying something like that. But you know? As I thing more about it, theres a part earler in the play Cauldius is asking Hamlet “why so sad?” , when his father’s dead, and Claudius says “oh, but your dad died, but his dad died before him,, and his dad died before him.. on down the line. They all died, so no problem.” Whgat’s with that? You think that makes somebody feel better? Dude, don’t get a job writing Hallmark cards. But don’t take my criticism like theres’ something wrong with the play.. You know, this is the skewed enironment Hamlet was raised. I mean, if your mom doesn’t see why you’re sad she married your uncle… no insight there. But a big question is DID GERTRUDE HELP KILL THE ELDER HAMLET? You know, I mostly think she didn’t… because Hamlets’ play didn’t make her shout “Give me some light”, so probably she wasn’t guilty… but there’s always that bit of doubt, because can she really be so stupid to not at least suspect it? And if she wasn’t in on the whole plot, how did Claudius plan to explain to her why England executed Hamlet, if Calurdis plan was successful to kill hamlet? So it’s suspicious. But a great work like this has complexity and nuance, and you find yourself wondering about the depth and motivations of these characters, who seem so real to us. That is a mark of great literature. What does anybody wonder about Winnire the Pooh? Why he eats honey? No. Nobody wonders.I wanted also tos ay about how funny Polonius is… says he uses no art,but then goes on and on with this whole preface abut “why time is time, why day is day, why night is night..” when the king and queen just want him to spit out the information. “Use less art!” and he’s like “Oh, I don’t use any art at all”. Of course some of this is just funny for its own sake, and some of it because you see it in real life.. People who hedge and talk around the subject when you don’t have time to play those games, it’s like JSUST SAY IT! Did you watch any of those primary debates… Rick Perrry (total WTO/IMF/World Bank candidate) …. OMG! talk about “use less art!” right? OMG I FORGOT THE BEST THING! When Hamlet is hanging out with Giuldent dstryn and Rosemcranx (UGH R&G from now on) and they’re messing with him, trying to get himn to go, and he’s like “play this flute” and R says “I cant” and Hamlet is like “oh, you can’t play a flute, but you think you can play me? I’m simpler than a flute..what do you take me for?” kind of thing.. And when I read that I always thought that was a very good point. I always thought I would tell that to somebody who istrying to manipulate me, but it never came up in real life, because I never got tried to get manipulateds by somebody whoane they are walking around with a musical insturment that they doen’t know how to play. IT’s just not the sorty of thing theat comes up very often, but when it does, I’M READY!!! THANKS TO SHAKESPEARE!!! See how that play talks about a ll these things, and about love too f course, which I nrally need to mention because thre is the drama, and Ophenlia really gets treated badly, it seems, no definitely, but what do you think the history was there>? They had an affair, pretty certain, but Idon’t know how far really, because back then-well, social moores and also no birth control etc, so you really aren’t sure like nowdays we’d just be like “yeah, they totally did it, no question at all”, but you know? Back then? May be not. There is a part where she kind of sings theis song about “you said we’d wed before you tumbled me…“ so that kind of implies they did (tumbled = fucked would be my interpreteation of that one) but the whole thing is kind of third person, like its just a song that’s out there, not a song she personally wrote, so maybe still that song doesn’t prove it, and she’s just kind of singing about guys who just want casual sex or whatever. But anyhow she tells laertes how Hamlet has been hanging around and giving his affection, andso on, but then when Hamlet finds out about his fathers murder, and he’s planning revenge, etc he kind of distances himself, and maybe because he’s just tired of her, and maybe because she doesn’t trust her because she’s the daughtert of one of the kings’ advisors, but also maybe to protect her… like “I don’t want you balmed for murder” or “I don’t want you involved if this thing doesn’t go down the way it’s supposed to”… get thee to a nunnery. A kind of love there- “tough love” kind of. Oh and love? Hamlet’s love for his real father… it’s really all about that…how he looks up to him,and would do anything. If he was greedy and didn’t care of course he could just wait and live the good life as a prince, wathch Claudius have his way with hamlwt’S mother, bide his time and eventually become king… but he has not only too much honor, but also too much love for his father ,and the memory of what kind of man he was,. This comes out quite well in the Kenntyh Brannagh performance of Htamlet, 1996 (?() movie but nost so strong in the Lawrendce Oliveire or the David Tennant one, (were not going to talk about the ehtan hawke one here, please). Lawrence Olivier one a lot of people like, but excuse me, they wrote out Rosencranz and Guildrnesrertn! WROTE THEM OUT??~!~? Who takes that much artistic licenser? Its ridiculous. The Kenneth Brannaught one keeps perfect to the dialogue, including the openingn scene where the guards first see elder Hamlet… everybody else leasves that scene out, so good credit to Kenneryt Branngute for that-- GOOD JOB! The Mel Gibson one has the best sword fighting at the end though. I think overall my favorite of these is the David Tennant, because it conveys well that Hamlet is after all just a college kid, not this full adult like Lawrence Olivier. And of course the Patrick Stewart in that one is graet (best Macbeth ever too, PS) , and who was the woman who played Gertrude? IT was very very good. I think see them all amd make up your mind, but my recommnedation is the david tennant one. Only later was I found out hes dr who, which kind of puts a weird spin on the hamlet, because dr who has weird implications about reincarnantion with that whole “rejuvinations” or what was it… “regenerations”? He is the same Dr. Who’s spirit in a different body.. (an adult body? Where did it come from?) And it seems like this is a feature of dr who which makes it seem very British, because of Britain’s relation to India and by extension Hinduism, which is where the whole idea of reincarnations even comes from, no? And when you think about it, there is a kind of allusion to this even in the play, when Hamlet is telling Cluadius theat if a king dies, he can get eaten by a worm, and then a beggar digs up the worm and uses it to fish, and the fish eats the worm, then the beggar eats the fish, he’s also eating the worm inside the fish, and the king inside the worm, so the beggar is eating the king.. Oh, that’s not reincarnation, but more like cycle or life (with some indirect cannibalism) so I guess that isn’t’ reincarnation. But going back to the ghost of Halmlet‘s dad, its always a little dicey about what the presence of a ghost says about the afterlife, and if he’s dead and walking around and having an interrractive conversation with the son, then is he really dead? Or maybe “yes of course he’s dead” but what does it mean to be dead if you can still have consciousness and interactivity… and the same thing in Superman old movies with Crhistropher reeve and he talks to his father using the crystals etc.. kind of a not-completely developed idea there, but was he really dead then? [Edit: continued below in comments]