Hamlet's Emotions, Actions, and Importance in the Nunnery Scene

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Hamlet's Emotions, Actions, and Importance in the Nunnery Scene

"Like sweet bells jangled, out of time and harsh" Hamlet's trust is betrayed by the people who are dearest to his heart (III.i.87). The theme of betrayal takes root before the Shakespeare's tragedy begins, when Hamlet's uncle murders his father and marries his mother. These enormous betrayals, along with other pointed deceptions, justify many of Hamlet's words and actions. A striking example of the deceit Hamlet endures can be seen in act three, scene one of Hamlet: the nunnery scene. When Hamlet steps through the entryway he walks into a web of secrets, deception, and dishonesty. Determined to discover the nature of Hamlet's madness, the king and Polonius have
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The simplicity of the chamber does not provide any corner for secrets to lurk in or any shadows to cloak deception. This staging reminds the reader that nothing in the scene is hidden form Hamlet. The effect of this set is to shift focus from the scene's action to Hamlet's unaffected performance.

In sharp contrast, the large black and white checked floor of the Nunnery Scene in Branagh's Hamlet is the giant chessboard (C5) on which a complex and intricate game is played. Dozens of hidden doors, two-way mirrors, and secret rooms set up a scene where the truth is elusive and twisted. Branagh's Nunnery Scene is a maze of lies through which Hamlet must struggle to find the truth. The court setting could not be more appropriate to Branagh's idea that this scene is a game of strategies in the peculiar court.

One step away from scenery, Olivier's Ophelia is a pale-skinned, white-gowned, blond haired, and soft-spoken one-dimensional virgin figure. All of Ophelia's feelings and intentions are manifest in her actions; her lies are obvious, her motivations are clear, and she seems extremely unintelligent, as she has no understanding of Hamlets purpose. Since Hamlet already knows that Ophelia has planned to deceive him she has no information to convey to Hamlet during the scene. Most of what Hamlet says seems to be beyond her

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