The Importance Of Theatre In Hamlet

1509 Words 7 Pages
Art has been a pivotal element of human development, expression, and survival for thousands of years; it is something powerful. It has been used to persuade, to dissuade, to provoke. In February of 1601, Richard II was performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in an attempt to provoke a rebellion in England. This rebellion ultimately failed. However, the eminence of art, in particular theatre, is not to be underestimated. Hamlet explores the importance and influence of theatre. Hamlet acts insane in his play, but his acting can sometimes seem to slip into being truly insane. He questions the world around him, delving into issues of life, death, treachery, and acting. Hamlet is particularly intrigued by the emotional performances put on by the …show more content…
Hamlet guides the players towards a powerful, politically moving speech, as these lines will eventually be the provoker of Claudius. Hamlet then instructs the players to be neither too extreme, nor too “tame” (3.2.17, 137). He then goes on to expose the most essential idea in theatre: that acting should be as close to reality as possible. Hamlet proclaims, “For anything so o’erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure” (3.2.21-26, 137). Hamlet insinuates not only that theatre is something to be done carefully and exquisitely, but that it is something that should reflect nature as precisely as possible. Theatre is something that reflects nature, and although this reflection should be as precise as possible, it may still be twisted, especially by the director’s motivations. The ultimate goal of Hamlet is to disturb his uncle, and by reflecting nature back at Claudius, he will be stricken by just how horrible his crime is, as his reaction later in Act 3 shows. Hamlet himself realizes the importance of speeches, to theatre and life as a whole. Through mirroring nature, Hamlet sharpens the players’ speeches, and …show more content…
At the very end of the play, Horatio gives tribute to Hamlet with an ode full of theatricality and told in a way that ties up the story of Hamlet. Horatio is talking with the ambassador from England, after the arrival of Fortinbras, and he speaks for Hamlet after his death. The ambassador asks from where to receive thanks for communicating his message that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, and Horatio states, “Not from his mouth, / Had it th’ ability of life to thank you / … give order that these bodies / High on a stage be placed to the view, and let me speak to th’ yet unknowing world / How these things came about.” (5.2.413-422, 285). Horatio continues the legacy of Hamlet and his powerful speeches with his words: he extends Hamlet’s presence on the stage to after life by ordering the bodies to be placed on a stage, and adds an immortal strength to Hamlet by associating his tale with “carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts” (5.2.423, 285). Although these are not positive things, these words describe the tragedy of Hamlet, and they are impactful. Evidently, they are so impactful that after even four hundred years, people still easily recognize the name Hamlet. Speech can be poignant and sway, and while swaying, it can

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