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Production Values of Hamlet

The purpose of this research is to examine the production values of Hamlet, as envisioned in a Tudor mannerism style. The plan of the research will be to set forth the overall conception under which a Tudorstyle production should proceed, and then discuss the rationale behind choices made for scenery, costumes, and properties.

The overriding principle of set design for Hamlet done in any period ought to derive from Hamlet's lamenting that the time is out of joint. This idea is taken up again and again by Hamlet in different ways, as when he complains that all occasions do inform against him or, in his opening soliloquy, that he cannot resolve the misgivings he has about his father's death and mother's hasty remarriage. What has become in the popular culture a clichethat something is rotten in the state of Denmarkis another way of stating that things are not at all as they should be. The temptation is to try a surreal presentation of the play, which might involve a surreal perspective of scenery elements. The overriding principle of disjointed time fits might be consistent with a a Tudorstyle production in which perspective and proportion were themselves disjointed, but as a style of production this might be too idiosyncratic for an audience unused to Elizabethan language in general and the action of Hamlet in particular.

With a Tudor background the given milieu of production, therefore, a set that is asymmetrical yet balanced, and that incorporates architectural and decoration elements of Tudor design has much to offer. This explains a floor plan that incorporates a staircase and levels stage right, leading to a parapet that extends most of the length of upstage, balanced by the sturdiness of Tudor pillars and doors at left. This design also takes into account what we know of the conventions of Shakespeare's staging, freeing the action to move from scene to scene and location to location on the stage. Hamlet's rather frequ...

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Production Values of Hamlet. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:26, May 31, 2020, from