15 de marzo de 2008

To be or not to be (Hamlet. Act III, Scene I)

Watch Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh interpreting Hamlet below (both directed their corresponding film version) and read the monologue here. Thank you for posting your comments!

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
You are now facing the most famous speech in English Drama and one of the most important ones Humanity has produced. How do you like it? Post your comments, trying to understand what it is about. Good luck and nice holidays!

Hamlet by Laurence Olivier (1948)


Hamlet by Kenneth Branagh (1996)

44 comentarios:

Dakota dijo...

Wow! Wonderful! I love it! :)

dakota dijo...

PS: Hey, click on my nick above and you'll get a correct version of the pacifist version (of the beginning of this AMAZING monologue) I was telling you about on the Theatre Club!

dakota dijo...

PSS!: Woops... Sorry again! :(
Thanks so much for posting it complete!
Have a very nice holiday!

paloma dijo...

I’ve read the text and I must confess you something: I’d never read Hamlet before. At school I was never asked to read the play and at the university or after my marriage I was not very interested in literature and I’ve always preferred to read about scientific issues or history. Anyway, the only sentence I knew of this tragedy was the first in this post. I’ve needed to translate the paragraph and the result of this “absolutely free translation” has been the one posted below.
Of course as we are a cultured family, we have at least three different translations of Hamlet into Spanish, but I haven’t liked them. They are, I suppose, very good ones, and because of that they are too poetic, if you understand what I meant. I wanted something more literal.
My translation is not a good one but shows to me what Shakespeare meant better than the texts I’ve found, all of them full of a very complicated language, even in Spanish.
Ser o no ser: esa es la cuestión
Que es más noble en la mente, sufrir
Los reveses (hondazos) y dardos de la mala fortuna
o tomar las armas contra un mar de problemas
Y haciéndoles frente, acabar con ellos? Morir: dormir;
Nada más; y mediante el sueño decir que terminamos
el dolor del corazón y los mil traumas
que son la herencia de la carne, esta es una consumación
para ser deseada fervientemente. Morir, dormir;
dormir: tal vez soñar: ay! Ahí está el problema;
porque los sueños que pueden llegar en ese sueño de muerte
cuando nos hayamos quitado esta envoltura mortal
nos darán una pausa: esta es la consideración
que convierte en calamidad una vida tan larga;
porque ¿Quién podría soportar los azotes y desprecios del tiempo,
la maldad del opresor, las afrentas de los orgullosos,
las punzadas de un amor despreciado, los retrasos de la justicia
la insolencia de los cargos y los desdeños (desprecios)
que el merito paciente recibe de los indignos,
cuando el mismo podría tomar su descanso eterno
con una desnuda aguja roma (estilete)? ¿Quién podría soportar los fardos
gruñir y sudar bajo una vida cansada,
si no fuera por el pánico a algo después de la muerte,
ese desconocido país de cuyos dominios
ningún viajero regresa, confunde a la voluntad
y nos hace preferir soportar los males que tenemos (padecemos)
a volar hacia otros que no conocemos?
De este modo la conciencia nos hace a todos cobardes;
así, el color natural de la resolución, es teñido con la enferma palidez del pensamiento
Y empresas de gran meollo y trascendencia
con estas consideraciones se tuercen
Y pierden el nombre de acción
I suppose through the centuries many brainy people will have written about this extract and surely all of them have said very thoughtful things. In fact, my elder daughter gave me yesterday a photocopy with the opinions of Goethe, Freud and Rubenfeld. So, if those wise people have given their opinion, what can I say? I’m only a housewife, you know, the lower kind of working women (some people think we are not working women at all), the ones thought not to be interested in anything but in gossip or food or dust. I’m a housewife in my late forties, not only “un desecho de tienta” but also someone against everybody is prejudiced. No sooner they have seen me than they think I’m not wise enough, not intelligent enough and, of course with a slow reasoning. Being like that, could I be able to say something about Hamlet, having been everything said yet? Well as I am not aware of my silly condition and as I am very brave, I’ll tell you something, very simple:
In my opinion Hamlet is a person depressed and a coward who wants to kill himself and as not dares at all, tries to justify himself with philosophy.
the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes...
¿Where are the smile of a child, the happiness of a sight of love, the peace of the country in spring, the song of the birds, the snow, the fine rain or the majesty of a thunder? Only the people who are depress are unable to find any happiness and beauty in life. They are only aware of the things that are sad or terrible, like Hamlet in these verses.
I am not afraid what could happen after death, even if nothing happens or there is nothing; the only thing I am scared about is “the moment”, because, as I told you before, I’m a coward myself too. I believe that Hamlet, like me, is afraid, and he tries to conceal this fact with all those speech about the conscience. I think that is not “ the dread of something after death (...)puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?”, is only dread. I disagree with the following statement: “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all”, I don’t want to be included in that sack, I only fear pain, as simple as that.

maría dijo...

I saw this play two years ago performed by students of Complutense University. Their brilliant performance surprised me a lot. There are more talent among us than we can imagine. Getting to the point: Hamlet shows desperation in his speech, his hatred knows no bounds because of his murdered father and the consequent his mother´s obivlion and betrayal. Hamlet is filled with revenge desires and resentment. But, as he says, "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all".
He wants to avenge his murdered father, but he thinks that he is not able to do it, because of his conscience, his morals, which don´t let him act as he would like. This is his thought, an universal thought, because all of us are surrounded of injustices, and we want them to finish. The question is if either we must face the troubles or if we can fly away.

Carmen dijo...

Paloma, congratulations on your translation!! It is one of the best I´ve read though perhaps someone can say it is not very academical. who wants a poetical one when we can read it in English? What is necessary is to be able to understand some of the tricky lines and then you go to the translation, not to find beauty or rythm but just words.
What is Hamlet considering? He is considering death and his own capcity of inflicting it on himself,; the speech is considering why we do not commit suicide, reasoning out why we remain in this existence, only suffering. I think it expressses really well the anguish of Man alone, unguided by God, the Modern man.

Carmen dijo...

Paloma, congratulations on your translation!! It is one of the best I´ve read though perhaps someone can say it is not very academical. who wants a poetical one when we can read it in English? What is necessary is to be able to understand some of the tricky lines and then you go to the translation, not to find beauty or rythm but just words.
What is Hamlet considering? He is considering death and his own capcity of inflicting it on himself,; the speech is considering why we do not commit suicide, reasoning out why we remain in this existence, only suffering. I think it expressses really well the anguish of Man alone, unguided by God, the Modern man.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Dear teachers and classmates. Although I am trying to get time enough to study this famous extract from Hamlet deeply, I want to thank you beforehand, especially Paloma, for the translation, it being very useful when one feels depressed by not understanding the meaning of the poem and I am delighted with the links added to watch and to hear the extract performed by the hand of two great actors as Sir. Laurence Olivier and Keneth Branagh are (the last one is better behind of a camera in my opinion). I am anxious to watch them.

Anónimo dijo...

Hi everyone! Shakespeare revisited! What fascinates me about this play is that all that matters here is the fact that Hamlet's consciousness is always expanding; I mean, self-revision never stops for him; he changes every time he speaks. Can that be fully represented upon a stage? Perhaps the climatic death of the hero is another of Shakespeare's ironies...
Enjoy your reading, and if you have a spare ticket for King Lear, please contact Ana at the English Department.

Paloma dijo...

I want to comment something with you. As I told you the other day I’m not used to be very interested in literature. I’ve heard many times that Shakespeare is the best writer in the history of literature, and I used to ask myself why people were saying that. What about Cervantes? Where was the difference if there was any? D. Quixote is said to be one of the best novels ever written and it was Cervantes that wrote it. So, why is Shakespeare considered the best writer? Well, reading this abstract of Hamlet I’ve understood the whole thing. Have you ever been depressed? I mean, not merely sad, but really depressed? When you are like that, you feel like Hamlet in this post, unable of seeing any beauty or some good in the world or in the people around you. Everything is grey, if not black; the whole life is against you. There is no hope anywhere and, worst of all; everything seems to be the same forever and ever. Was ever Shakespeare depressed? Perhaps he was, on the contrary I don’t understand how he managed to describe a depressed person so accurately. In King Lear he describes the trouble of old age and he does it wonderfully, and here he speaks about a different thing and also with great proficiency. Whenever he touches an issue, he gets the perfect point. That’s why now I’m also thinking he is a genius.

michelle dijo...

Hi there you all, interesting bunch, and a special hello to Paloma! Congratulations for your translation!
Well, in my view, it's not a good idea to think there's ONE best writer in the world. (Among other facts, because it doesn't allow your mind to be open to the world, I guess!) The fact that Shakespeare is amazing doesn't mean there are no other writers as amazing as him. Cervantes was one. He's amazing. (The funny thing is Cervantes's audience, really! But that's another topic!) It all also depends on who says, who says, "X is the best". What for? What's the intention behind that? State a fact? MMM... I'm not sure. I wouldn't say it's that. Anyway, what I mean is "best" depends on values, approaches, etc., and as we know, who can say that their values, their way of viewing the world is "the best"?
I bet my life Shakespeare would said he certainly couldn't! :) Of course, you might find evidence against this and I'll be happy to learn about that! But, for the time being, I bet he would reject that idea.
I love Shakespeare because he was able to listen, to understand people, AND the world people create! At least he tried, and he learned important stuff about the human being and he was able to tell us about it, by artistic means. And somebody who does that, well...
For instance, he was meant to be a Protestant but! he had Catholic friends. (He was probably a non-believer, I presume - I don't know, I mean) He was a heterosexual, but, his view of love was bigger than that - I think he loved "persons" not men and women. He was really critical of power and he wrote tons about power. I suppose that was because he was worried about how power distorts it all.
Shakespeare is one of my all-time favorites, although I haven't read him again for years and I feel I have not enough time to refresh what I learned about Early Modern English and his vocabulary.
For me, his genius comes to being able to identify the "human" topics in such a deep way that the conditionings of his time, of the mentality prevailing in his times, do not blind him, don't blight his gaze, so to say. That usually implies that he was someone who is ALIVE. Someone who lives with intensity and awareness. Then, the big plus: he's able to find the words to get that through. As we know, finding the words is hard. Though finding what's important, the previous step, is hard too, and often neglected. This is perhaps the most amazing ability an artist can have, but there are many other good works of art, perhaps not as comprehensive in terms of their human "completeness", I mean, perhaps they are more focused on or just develop part of the whole that Shakespeare develops in his, but I don't Shakespeare would think (of course, I may be wrong) that some work of art or artist can be considered "the best in the world".
So... It's OK we speak like that, we speak metaphorically most of the times, and that usually means "I love Shakespeare". But if we analyze it, then I need to say what I just said! :D
What do you think?
:)
Back to exile! :(

michelle dijo...

PS!!!
By the way, in the School's library, there's an interesting DVD (well, it's 2, really) called "In Search of Shakespeare" (BBC, 2003)

Raquel 4º C dijo...

We have just read this extract from Hamlet in class and I have to say I need Carmen's help to understand it in spite of being one of the most famous extracts of the English
literature.
Thank you Paloma for your translation, I admire your hard work and perseverance.
In addition to reading it, We saw the two versions of Hamlet which are hung on the blog. Even though I have to acknowledge the Lawrence Olivier's acting might better capture the spirit that Shakespeare had intended for this character, however Branagh's stage presence is more impressive, representing, perhaps, a Hamlet more distant of what Shakespeare had in mind

marta dijo...

Paloma your translation is quite good much better than many I´ve read. What do the 5th years think about it and about the two actors? I wonder.... where are your comments??? We want them somebody very important is going to attend on the 25th and we want to publish something good. The 4ths are doing fine and how about you?????????

Cristina 4º C dijo...

I think this is a scene hard to understand, so thank you Paloma for your translation and Carmen for your explanation.About the videos I agree with Raquel. Perhaps Lawrence Olivier plays the role of Hamlet better than Branagh, but I like the idea of Hamlet looking at himself in the mirrow, walking slowly to it, while he is thinking about commiting suicide. Hamlet practically doesn´t move while the camera is approaching to him slowly.

Dakota dijo...

Hey, if you click on my nick above, you'll get to the TP podcast where we have published an episode called "Gertrude Talks Back" by Margaret Atwood (very talented Canadian artist, especially writer). Gertrude is Hamlet's mum, and she's addressing Hamlet. It's really funny!

marta dijo...

Dakota I´ve clicked and it´s great.What are we going to do without you. You put up all these interesting things...A very nice voice too
Please everybody click and hear what Hamlet´s mother has to say.

Dakota dijo...

Oh, thanks so much for the feedback!!! You feel very vulnerable when you podcast! :D So thanks again! I'm very happy you enjoyed it.

Hey, I'll always be there if you need me no matter what! (Well, that's my intention & based on my experience, I bet it's likely! - of course I won't if I'm abducted by aliens, but then, that'd be beyond my will!). I've also found you!, you know? I mean, I've found you, amazing people willing to develop interesting projects! and I cannot afford to lose you just like that, because it's always difficult to find people interested in developing interesting joint projects (Why is that, I have never been able to find out!) :)

:)

Paloma dijo...

Following Carmen’s orders, I’ve been thinking in some funny character I’ve found in literature. Of course, being myself a “fan” of Jane Austen, the first one who has come to my mind has been Mrs. Bennet, you know, I’m always trying not to be like her! I have two marriageable daughters and I know several Mr. Bingleys and Mr. Darcys and it’s very difficult to shut up and not to say something! Anyway, another very odd character of Jane Austen’s books, and very alike to Mr. Fairlie too, is Sir Elliot. These days I’m reading Persuasion again. ( After have read The Woman in White I understand English literature much better and it’s a great pleasure to be able to read and, most important, to understand my favourite book s in English.)
Sir Walter Elliot is one of the most stupid men I’ve ever met, read and judge:
“Was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for and idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one” “Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter’s Elliot’s character; vanity of person and of situation” “Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did” “He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of baronetcy; and the Sir Walter Elliot, who united these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion” “The Kellynch property was good, but not equal to Sir Walter’s apprehension of the state required in its possessor. While Lady Elliot lived, there had been method, moderation, and economy, which had just kept him within his income; but with her had died all such right-mindedness, and from that period he had been constantly exceeding it. It had not been possible for him to spend less; he had done nothing but what Sir Walter Elliot was imperiously called on to do” “(Elisabeth and Sir Elliot) were neither of them able to devise any means of lessening their expenses without compromising their dignity, or relinquishing their comforts in a way no to be borne.” What do you think about such a man? Of course if you want it I can write some of his words, there is not waste on them. As Mr Bennet would say: “He is a fine fellow (...) I am prodigiously proud of him, I defy even Sir Williams Lucas himself to produce a more valuable son-in-law”.

Paloma dijo...

I'm really sorry I've made a mistake posting the previous comment. It is for The Woman In Whithe. I don't know how to delete it.

Carmen dijo...

You are right!!! try to copy it there.
Sir Walter Elliot is one of my favourites. He is such a snob and so proud of himself becauese of his looks and his baronetcy. But there is something in Beauty which brings disgrace. I would have liked to be really beautiful, but I have always thought that I would not have liked it if it be not accompanied by goodness and humility. I may have been horrible, proud and ended like our friend Satan..... in Hell.
Better to be less beautiful and somewhat mediocre,learn to use your brain and to look at others, not just at yourself!

Carmen dijo...

Cristina and Rachel, I´ve read your posts and have been thinking about which actor puts it across better. I think Mr. Brannagh´s, don´t know if i got the spelling right, Hamlet is more agressive than Mr. Olivier´s. i think at that point in the play Hamlet was considering, asking himself questions, he was not ready for action, that is if he ever was. on second thoughts too powerful, this is a soldier speaking to his army not a young man depressed.
Dakota, well nobody can say that one is the best, I agree but, let´s face it, Shakespeare has dealt with and clearly explained all the different feelings, questions, etc. a human being is made of. One person only, not a group. I do not think I´ve explained myself clearly. Cervantes is no match for him, I´m sorry. El Quijote is brilliant..., if you manage to get through it!!!I did and I remember it as boring, sorry, perhaps I was too young and. it was too long

Dakota dijo...

Hahahah, yes, I had to skin a few chapters! hahahah... I prefer Shakespeare too (though it's true I can't say he's the best, but he IS a GREAT writer!). I find him "more human", yes, in spite of the time gap between us, I mean, I (personally speaking) think I understand him better.
I also agree with something you say about Hamlet (unconnected to the actors' performances, though) -- in this monologue he's much more depressed than anything else, and I can't see him (in this very monologue, I mean) with any amount of whatever it is you need to take action. (Action is required in commercial films nowadays, like sex scenes, because if there's none of this, they are not commercial, meaning profitable, or that's what they say! But if K.B.'s Hamlet shows an eagerness for action, that's not Hamlet but a version inspired in Hamlet, I guess...)

dakota dijo...

PS!
About Laurence Olivier's performance, I have to say that nowadays the setting, the manners seem to be a bit too elaborate, but 1. I find the development of the scene/movement/point of view a bit surreal, like surreal on purpose, 2. you can always focus on his voice and face, and forget about the less natural bits, to make your personal more modern version! Sometimes he looks really lost, and I think that is a feeling in the monologue, (sadness and) being lost...

marta dijo...

I agree, his is in my opinion the best performance. He does the speech pauses better and he seems to be suffering and doubting. The scenario doesn´t help though, the castle seems false. Brannagh has the advantage in that, he is good but you don´t think for a minute he is going to use the bodkin and with Olivier you perceive the unhappyness

carmen dijo...

a very nice lesson

Paloma dijo...

Sorry Carmen, but after having seen twice the two performances again, and in spite of your explanations I still prefer the version of Branagh. I’m like Hamlet myself , it is really difficult for me to take decisions, but whenever I’ve been in a state of mind similar as the one which Hamlet has in this moment, I had some kind of strange strength. In accordance with my way of feel, the second performance is more real, touches me more. I find Sir Olivier a little monotonous.
I’ve really enjoyed today’s class. The more I know Shakespeare the more I like it. Undoubtedly he is a genius. The explanations of Carmen are very useful to catch everything hidden in the text. Thank you Carmen, you are opening a new world for me, a new wonderful world. But I have a question: How am I gonig to be able to read Shakespeare without your help?

Paloma dijo...

Someone called Anónimo has posted a comment about this class in the section called brilliant ideas. I want to thank this person for his/her comment. I enjoyed very much that lesson and, consequently, I told you it in my previous comment. But I was a little worried because people could think I am a creep. But the lesson was wonderful and I think people deserve congratulations when they do things really well. And Carmen Did it. So Thank you Anonimo, you are right, people don’t know what they miss.

Roberto 4ºb dijo...

Hello everybody:

At last I have understood this splendid speech of Shakespeare’s and I am completely shocked!

I have read all your comments related to it and I am to post my opinion. Shakespeare is able to summarise all human identity in this single composition. Whether he is not a genius doing this, what else?

As far as the two performances is concerned, I agree with those of you choosing the one played by Sir Laurence Olivier because I think the text is created as an act of reflection and doubts and Branagh is both too decided and excessive in his interpretation.

Carmen dijo...

thanks, Paloma for those nice things you say about me. You can understand Shakespeare if you use an edition with notes. There is a collection edited by Cambridge sold in Pasages, the book shop we work with, which I bought and use. The English read Shakespeare with notes!
I think Laurence Olivier´s is the better performance because his Hamlet shows indecision, he lacks the strength to kill himself or murder, at this stage and he shows it. Brannagh´s is much older and shows anger, character, precisely what Haamlet lacked. Brannagh could use that bodkin to kill his uncle, the king, but we cannot see Olivier´s doing it, can we. His "lose the name of action"

Los alumnos dijo...

Como seguramente sabréis todos tenemos un nuevo blog dedicado al cine que hemos creado con una ilusión tremenda. Pero los blogs no funcionan solos, necesitan alma, y su alma es la gente que escribe en ellos. Sin vosotros, sin vuestra colaboración, morirá. No es necesario que escribáis en inglés, podéis hacerlo en español si os apetece más u os resulta más fácil, pero si optáis por intentarlo con el idioma de Shakespeare, no os preocupéis por los errores. Todos los cometemos, es así como aprendemos, nadie va juzgar como lo hacéis, somos vuestros compañeros. Lo que queremos es hacer algo que pueda unirnos, que nos permita mantener el contacto durante el verano y que nos entretenga y enseñe. Alguna gente escribe en inglés bastante bien y se puede aprender mucho de ellos, y si, además, ampliamos muestro conocimiento cinematográfico, miel sobre hojuelas. Venid, por favor, es algo nuestro, algo que nos convierte en compañeros y amigos independientemente de nuestro curso, nivel o estatus en la escuela. Por cierto, los amigos de nuestros amigos también son bienvenidos. ¡Os esperamos!

Susana 4G dijo...

Carmen, thanks again for your interesting class on Friday 11th. I wouldn´t have tried to understand the meaning of every sentence without your help.
Anyway, if I have to choose between Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh according with the character of Hamlet, I prefer Laurence Olivier. Without any doubt, the atmosphere, the black and white, his position lies down on the rock, his tone of the voice help to identify with Hamlet.

maría 4ºA dijo...

The other day I watched Hamlet by Branagh and I liked it a lot, I think, more than Olivier. However I must admit I have only seen this short video of Olivier´s acting; so I can´t give my opinion as I should give it. I hadn´t realized that there were many famous actors in Branagh´s movie

Mercedes (Interm. 2º B) dijo...

How beautiful monologue by Laurence Olivier¡¡¡¡¡
It is magnificient¡, but I need to read and listen to many times more because the sentences are difficult to me, I don't understand all of the text, but it is so nice¡¡¡¡, now I will try to once more

Rebeca 4ºB dijo...

hello.
It has suprised me how alone has been this topic since last course(excepting Mercedes´ one). Then, although we have commented it at class this term, nearly nobody has written about it. So, in order to break this tendency, I´ll try to touch on it. However, I´m afraid it will be probably more difficult than the other texts, since it´s in verse and new to me.
After working on it at class, I´ve realised why its first line (to be or not to be)has survived for so long; beeing it today one of the most important sentences of the literature. It encourage us to think, and it is that thing that let it to be alive today.

marta dijo...

Rebeca, how alone this topic has been.... it being today one of the most important. It encourageS careful with the S. It is that thing that letS.
It is indeed very important when you come to think of it, because it is the dilemma of whether life is worth it or not.
Who says it better according to you?

Rebeca 4ºB dijo...

Thanks Marta for remembering me my mistakes; I promise you I´ll try to put the subject before the verb and don´t forget the S on the third person, as they are ones of the most common mistakes I use to commit.
Of course, this speech is very important to make us think about not only the meaning of the live, but the worth it has for one of us.
After reading some comments, I have remembered some texts I read written by Cervantes, another great writer who died in the same date as Shakespeare; on 23th of April(I belive...because my memory isn´t very wonderfull). Although the plot was very different, I think there are some points in common between Hamlet and the main character in Cervantes´ most known play. Two both have not so much mind health, and they´re worried about the meaning of the live, as well The Spanish one shows it in his differen travels and fights, in order to end the novel died. Besides him, we can see Hamlet, who is wondering if it is better living or dying (diing?).
I

marta dijo...

Rebeca I think you are right, they have points in common but Shakespeare talks about human passion even in a better way than Cervantes, or so critics say. Cervantes is the greatest prose writer and the greatest in Spanish we are very lucky to have him. The Anglo-Saxons are very good at putting across and I think that Shakespeare does that very well. Cervantes too but he takes longer to say it, this is my opinion I might be wrong though, I´m not an expert.
Well done persevere, you are improving and you will improve more

Arantza 4B dijo...

Finally I found "to be or not to be" speech!!!

I´ve watched both videos and I agree with Roberto. I think that the one interpreted by Laurence Olivier represents the reflection made by Hamlet. The actor is near the sea and he is hearing the waves crashing against the rocks, which is the best synonymous of the reflection.

In the other hand, I think that the one interpreted by Kenneth Branagh is more expressive and intense, but it´s a little bit exaggerated. The way the camera approaches to the actor is excellent, his glance and his slow movements are brilliants. Anyway Kenneth Branagh whispers instead of speaking, so for me, it is more difficult to understand him.

Regarding the content of the speech, I want to say that it´s been the first time I´ve read all the speech. I knew the famous "to be or not to be, that´s the question", but not the rest. It´s a very difficult text to understand, even in spanish, full of metaphors, so I didn´t undersand it until Marta explained it at class. The reflection is brilliant, deep and heartfelt. I understand now why this speech has persistes throughout the time.

marta dijo...

Arantza, on the other hand, approaches the actor, are brilliant, (Careful with the article it has one form, Marta explained it in class.
Your comment is very good too. It is well-written and it has content, I´m very pleased well done!!

rebeca 4ºB dijo...

After watching both videos, and, as Arantza and Roberto, I also prefer the first one, because it is more realistic, and it has the capability of transmitting the sense of the text. However, I belive they both are a bit old fashioned, and it would be a good idea to renew the recording, I mean, that some film director made a new one.
On the other hand, it is difficult to read, and to understand, altough it main meaning is useful today too.

marian dijo...

Hello everybody!
First of all I want to say that it's my first time at reading Hamlet, and after reading the monologue I want to add that it is quite difficult to understand. Despite of understanding the general meaning because it is a common topic to talk about specially at school, I have found it hard to understand deeply enough. I think it is because the old fashioned words used, because we are not used to found them in current books in English.
I think that the theme of the speech is still present today. Many of us are worried about human existence, our destiny, our own lives..
We have an internal struggle, we don't know if it is better to fight for what we are, for what we want and for our own wishes or give up to live the life with resignation, living as a surrender, waiting for the next thing what you have to face. Is in that situation where it was considered suicide, but nowadays it is bad considered, so we are talking about living our lives with depression, so common in the current society.

MAR. (fourth) dijo...

I´ll try to answer Marta´s question or Marta´s homework about which film is the best one.

First of all I must tell you that the text is quite difficult to understand (at least for me), thanks to our last English class I can understand it better than before.

I think that there are many differences in the representation of this speech but for us the main one is the setting. I like Branagh´s version because the mirror reflects his arrogant figure and his suffering. Also in Oliver´s Ophelia is not present.

rebeca 4ºB dijo...

I agree with my mates; this text is a bit difficult not only to translate but to understand its meaning, even when you have just known what its words mean. I belive we should read it with another sight. We have to look for its hidden meaning: it´s a question of imagination, I supposed. Besides, I think our experience and knowledge in the live will influence in the meaning wwe gave to it.

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins