Friday, March 28, 2008

Act 3 Scene 1 Video Critique

The video that portrays the best interpretation of Hamlets soliloquy is the video under the direction of Laurence Olivier’s. Laurence best achieves the meaning of the soliloquy in the play through the use of sound, the tone of the actor and the background at which he chooses to set the moment in. Each of these provides the viewer with a better sense of what Shakespeare intended to do with Hamlet’s soliloquy. In Hamlet’s Soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates suicide and the director achieves this through this first video of the bog.

The video begins with a view of the ocean and its waves. This choice of scenery provides an in depth look at Hamlet’s mind. In the video Olivier portrays this by placing the actor in front of the ocean with his head turned back. Then the camera slowly approaches the back of Hamlets head symbolizing his stream of consciousness which is his soliloquy. Then the waves are featured as blurry and set right behind the image of the waves, Olivier chooses to place Hamlets forehead. As was mentioned in a previous scene of the play the waves symbolize Hamlets mind. Just like waves, hamlet’s mind moves in an up down motion. This motion reflects Hamlet’s personality and how it fluxuates depending on his state of mind. In the soliloquy Hamlet mentions the water by saying “…or by opposing arms against the sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them” (p.81 58-59). Finally the director took it upon his time to make the ocean and its waves a very important figure of Hamlets mind. Making the ocean the background for the soliloquy best portrays the state that Hamlet is in. It is almost as if the director is trying to pale the soliloquy as just another one of Hamlet’s motion of personality.

The music in the video also sets the mood of almost each line in Hamlet’s soliloquy. The music was fast, slow or suspenseful depending on which part of the soliloquy was acted. For example when the video first started out the music was very loud and had moments of high notes. Once Hamlet appeared the music became very eerie and almost provides a sense of fear. The music also provided the audience with mystery and suspense. The overall analysis of the Soliloquy is Hamlet’s contemplation of death as is stated in line 55when he says “To be, or not to be, that is the question”. In the whole passage Hamlet seems to be toying with the idea of suicide. Olivier puts this emotion in the video. This is done by first beginning the video with him overlooking the water, as if to show the chance of Hamlet jumping and purposely ending his life. Then the music becomes higher once again when Hamlet takes out his knife. As Hamlet is saying the lines “And by opposing, end them” the knife that he is holding is slowly approaching Hamlet’s body as if motioning the idea of killing himself. The music towards this scene is not only becoming louder and faster but it leaves the audience with the idea of will he or won’t he kill himself. In lines 59-64, the actor says in his mind portraying that the contemplation Hamlet has over ending his life. Finally the music at the end of the video provides the audience with a sense of sadness and desperation, as Hamlet slowly walks away from the edge of the cliff.

The tone that the actor chooses to portray the different parts is also equally important. The actors tone varies at almost every line of the soliloquy. At the moment when Hamlet takes out his knife his tone seems unsure. As the camera approaches Hamlet’s mind it seems as if the tone of the actor becomes weaker and also seems distant. After the camera pulls away from Hamlet’s face, his tone elevates to a scared and apprehensive one. This is done for effect to show that Hamlet is afraid to kill himself as he pulls the knife away and brings it toward his lower body. Overall the tone of Hamlet throughout the whole soliloquy in this video is calm until the moment when the knife is pulled out. The whole feel of the video as well as the actor’s tone has evolved.

In conclusion the video under Laurence Olivier’s direction portrays the best interpretation of Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 3 Scene 1. The director and the actor focus on Hamlet’s emotions through the use of music, tone, and scenery. The first video is an absolute accurate portrayal of Hamlet’s soliloquy.

Tom Phillips: Explicating A Humument

On page 305 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips creates an image of what remains when love and desire is gone. Phillips uses vibrant colors that stand out on the page. Each color creates an emotion of the main character, Toge. The colors range from dark to light. The dark colors symbolizing death and sadness. The light colors display a sense of healing, life and wisdom. Phillips also uses words to show the emotion displayed on the page.

Phillips starts the page by mentioning the state of the main character, Toge. In the portrait a figure resembling person is sitting by himself on a chair in what seems to be an empty room. He writes “only toge alone”. This is emphasized in the picture of the person sitting in the chair in an empty room.

Towards the middle of the page Phillips writes about the characters loneliness. He writes “loneliness is throb of my watch.” to describe his loneliness. The main character feels alone and empty but this brings Toge excitement and other emotions. His heart is beating faster. This is displayed in the color of the room. The vibrant colors provide the page with a sense of excitement. The canary yellow creates light and brings life into the room even though the character is red. The yellow provides the shriveled figure with life and a sense of moving forward as well as healing from the loneliness. The word “throb” is essentially related to the heart and the color of the figure sitting in the chair is similar to the color of a heart, red. The blood red could have a whole array of meanings like death, love, blood and passion. In this case it symbolizes love. This leads to believe that Toge was alone because he lost his love.

The next few words from the middle part of the page say “long shriveled aspiration”. In the literal sense the passage means that his loneliness is a helpless or useless desire. As he aims for what he wants, which is to get rid of his loneliness, Toge realizes that there is no use, the chance has withered away. In the painting this is created by making the figure of the man seem distorted and withered. The figure is shriveled and seems to almost be gone. Phillips also places the figure of the man sitting on the chair in front of what seems to be an open window. The open window symbolizes the “aspirations” that Toge wants to acquire. By placing the man in front of the window shows that he longs for something that he used to have or wants to have.

The last words of Phillips Humument create a sense that Toge maybe alone but he still has some things that he treasures. Phillip writes “my viola” as the first thing that he has been left with. The viola provides Toge with music and the emotion that he creates when using the viola. The instrument provides him with healing that he needs because he is alone. Then Phillips writes “the other thing your image I cannot get rid of it” as Toge’s second thing that he is left with. Even though he doesn’t have his actual love with him, he can still see what his love looks like. He has kept that image within him forever even though now he is lonely.

Overall, in this art piece Phillips displays an emotion that seems to be lasting. His loneliness is not forever as Phillips mentions that Toge has two things left. Phillips creates this through his painting. The vibrant colors bring life into the words. The colors of red and yellow help to make the words real. Red symbolizes the “throb” that he feels and yellow is the “aspiration” that he has lost. Phillips A Humument of page 305 is emotional but yet very exciting.

Reading Lolita in Tehran Discussions: First Session

I was wondering what you guys thought about how the author or Azar describes each character as they walk through the door of Azar’s home. The women have their own sort of identity. Some are dressed conservative and hesitate to take off their veils and scarves while others are relieved as soon as they walk through the door. Each woman is a different array of color in the sense that each brings a different personality to the class. For example Mashid is proper and very graceful. She is very quiet and doesn’t like to share her experience in jail. Maybe this class will allow Mashid to finally open up and be expressing. Another array of character is Nassrin.Nassrin is probably the most conservative character. She is very by the book meaning she follows the rules. All her clothes are dark colors and very huge. To me she seems to hide behind her dark clothes. The only bright thing about her is her face. She has a small, pale face that stands out because of her face. Her character too is very shy and traditional and conventional.The characters that stood out to me as free and very enthusiastic were Azin and Sanaz. Azin arrived to the class with the veil and black robe but as soon as she took them off, she looked carefree and casual. She was wearing jeans underneath and a white blouse. Along with that attire came earrings and lipstick. These things belongings were very unusual for a women in Tehran but the fact that she came to class wearing those clothes and accessories underneath means that she has been thinking about looking differently. Azin believes that the class will allow her to be carefree and not worry about what is right and what is wrong in Terhan. She can leave that life behind even if it is for an hour or more. That time is very precious to herSanaz is the other character that is very open and ready to be carefree. She too, like Azin, had different attire. She wore jeans as well and a bright orange t-shirt. When she takes the robe off she had “the most radical transformation”(16). The clothes made her look more radiant and made her features softer as opposed to being emancipated and almost stiff.