Hamlet and Meta-Theater. The issue of the “play-within-a-play,” or Hamlet's production in Act III of “The Murder of Gonzago,” (which he nick-names “The Mousetrap”) raises a great deal of scholarship and debate in the past several decades. The “metatheatricality” of Hamlet – third lecture. “These indeed seem/ For they are actions a man might play.” The “metatheatrical” or self-referential side of. , Hamlet's 'antic disposition' and of course 'The Mousetrap' or Hamlet is a play deeply concerned with notions of play: the power of play, the danger.


Author: Telly Franecki
Country: Maldives
Language: English
Genre: Education
Published: 23 September 2017
Pages: 782
PDF File Size: 47.87 Mb
ePub File Size: 12.44 Mb
ISBN: 405-6-51303-832-9
Downloads: 19453
Price: Free
Uploader: Telly Franecki


The Theatricality in hamlet of Gonzago, is a major element of the plot, so its meaning cannot be taken lightly. In this scene, we watch Hamlet watching Claudius watch the player King and Queen.

  • ShakespearesTheatreEssay1
  • ShakespearesTheatreEssay1
  • Account Options

Its mirroring of the events of the play allows Hamlet to use theatre not only to reflect those events but also directly affect them. Shakespeare also uses theatrical metaphors and imagery, filling the script theatricality in hamlet words such as perform, act, show.


Shakespeare's knowledgeable and appreciative audiences would have enjoyed both of these contemporary references. Finally, and less obviously, Shakespeare has embedded subtle stage directions into his text theatricality in hamlet encourage the actors in certain moments to perform in a self-consciously theatrical style.

Claudius addresses the court as though performing before an audience, Ophelia's mad scene appears much like a private act for the benefit of Claudius and Gertrude, and the Gravedigger's scene seems nothing so much as a theatricality in hamlet routine. As important as these self-referential aspects of metatheatricality are in Hamlet, they are only the most visible instances of this dramatic device.

On a deeper level, Hamlet, in itself, can be envisioned as a play inside a play. One of the major themes of Hamlet is the conflict and contrast between truth and theatricality in hamlet, honesty and pretence, reality and appearance.

Nothing in this play is what it seems. Claudius, Polonius and ultimately Hamlet himself each take on the role of master of the play, director, choreographer or even playwright.

Elsinore is more than just a castle; it is, theatricality in hamlet if not literally, a stage on which the performance takes place. Almost every major character, except Horatio, becomes an actor playing a role.

Claudius, a murderer, adulterer, and usurper of the throne, plays the loving subject, brother and uncle and the rightful ruler of Denmark. Gertrude plays the loving wife of King Hamlet, even as she marries his brother and murderer with "unseemly haste," and the happy and serene "imperial co-jointress" to the throne even as she subconsciously represses her own guilt over her actions.

Essay on Theatre in Hamlet – HSC English band 6 Essays – Hamlet

The Ghost is ordered by Horatio to "Stay, illusion! Polonius, a wily and experienced politician, plays the doddering old man.

Ophelia plays the obedient daughter to theatricality in hamlet father while never abandoning her love for Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet's childhood friends, play their concern for him, while in reality they are self-serving courtiers acting as spies for Claudius.

Even, and especially, Hamlet, putting on "an antic disposition", plays madness to enable himself to discover the truth of his father's murder. The play itself constantly hovers on the border between reality and pretence, and at the height of its dramatic tension, during the performance of The Murder of Gonzago, the boundaries of identity between Gertrude and The Player Queen, Claudius and the Player King and Lucianus shift, merge and become indistinguishable, and pretence and reality momentarily become one.

The Theatricality in hamlet Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet, directed by John Barton and starring Michael Pennington as Hamlet, has been perhaps the most self-consciously metatheatrical production of this play, bringing the idea of Hamlet as a theatrical experience to its ultimate conclusion.

Essay on Theatre in Hamlet – HSC English band 6 Essays – Hamlet

We have seen that Hamlet appears both ambivalent and self-contradictory concerning matters of theatricality. In his first passage in the play, he lectures his theatricality in hamlet on how anyone could play the part of a man in mourning, but that he has within him true sorrow. Throughout the play, he admires anything genuine and rails against anything phony or deceptive.

And yet, at the same time, Hamlet is very immersed in theatrics and very interested in the Players who visit Elsinore. So at the same time that Hamlet theatricality in hamlet deception and phoniness, he also highly values and practices in stagecraft.

The motif of preserving past events through theatre is an implicit manifestation of structure in that Hamlet goes beyond its own temporality. Though, Hamlet, having graduated from Wittenberg University, theatricality in hamlet his thoughts with Greco-Roman mythology and historical epic.

Shakespeare and Hamlet reproduce historical narratives in their real worlds as acts of theatre and with these self- reflexive productions the theatricality in hamlet gestures toward theatre as a real world event for the real and textual audience which forms a wider significance.

Just as the play-within-the-play is framed and created within another theatrical construct, Hamlet as a playwright, opposing all theatrical convention in terms of technical finesse and subtlety, is framed theatricality in hamlet intertextual mythology that Shakespeare theatricality in hamlet him with to coalesce performance as part of a vast network of fictions.

Throughout the play, he admires anything genuine and rails against anything phony or deceptive.

Related Post