Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Speaking of Shakespeare . . .

There's a version of Hamlet starring David Tennant! (and Patrick Stewart!) Did anyone else know this? It's releasing here in May (on DVD), and I very much want to see it. 

But watching the clip below reminds me of writing about Shakespeare a few weeks ago. What did I do when I felt like reading some Shakespeare again? Did I read it? No. I went back to a performance of it that I loved. (Actually, to be honest,  at first I just went back to the soundtrack. And now I'm listening to it on audiobook.)

There's something about how seeing it played or listening to it read can make all the difference in understanding it. If a good actor does a good job with the lines, you'll get things out of it that you never have before, even if you've read it dozens of times. For instance, in watching Tennant in this clip, I realized that Hamlet's attitude towards death is the exact opposite of the Christian martyrs. Hamlet is driven to cowardice because of his doubt about what lies beyond death, whereas the martyrs were inspired to courageous acts because of their surety of what lay beyond death.  I knew that the speech was about suicide and cowardice, but somehow I'd never really understood how his doubt was linked to his fear before (how could I have missed this? I don't know, but I did).

And I'm still thinking about the idea that we humans would usually rather bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of . . . I know that often describes me. 

Anyway, without more ado, David Tennant as Hamlet:

Anyone else looking forward to seeing the whole thing now? 

peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell


Heather said...

Oh, yes. We were semi-seriously discussing taking a trip to England to see it live in 2008 until that part where we got pregnant and I was desperately trying to finish a dissertation. :-p

Jessica said...

Heather, you are too cool. ANNNND . . . I didn't know you had a new blog! Cool!