Audience favorite Griffin Stanton-Ameisen will play Hamlet for DSF in 2014 and Artistic Director David Stradley will direct the production. Once a month, Griffin and David will be getting together to talk about the play, the character, and all sorts of other things. They’ve agreed to share a short “journal entry” with DSF after each meeting.
April 27, 2014
Griffin and I took a step back today and tried to wrestle with the question of what Hamlet’s journey is during the play. Part of what struck us when pursuing this question was that Hamlet has no soliloquies (speeches by himself to the audience) after he returns from England. We asked ourselves what drives a soliloquy. Our answer was that there was a need in the speaker to work something out with a listener. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet’s mind is constantly racing, moving on and on. And the only person he can turn to with these thoughts is the audience. He needs to run things by them.
By the end of the play, a kind of peace has come over Hamlet. His mind is just a sharp, just as inquisitive. But a new phrase has entered his lexicon, “Let be.” He’s okay letting things come at him, and doesn’t have the need to turn to the audience and say, “Hey, what do you think of this?”
Is that a journey from youth (rushing at the world in an attempt to figure things out) to maturity (letting things come to him and deal with them as they come)?
Hamlet’s journey…what is his arc? Where does he start? And where does he end up? These were some larger questions David and I chatted about this week. At the end, Hamlet says, “O I could tell you–but let that be.” He seems to have a new understanding of the larger picture. What is that? What has he learned? I believe he has found out how “to be” in this world in a new way. Sadly, it is too late…
We also talked about Hamlet’s lack of direct connection to the audience in Act V, after returning from his trip to England. Not only does he seem to be in a different state of mind, he stops sololiquizing (think I made that up). Interesting to think what he needed to work out in previous speeches with the audience and that need going away. So much more to think about, and it’s great. Perspective changes daily.