Video 2; Hamlet’s Soliloquy Critique
I chose Video 2 as having the best portrayal of Hamlet’s soliloquy. A big reason as to why I chose this video was how the lines were performed/delivered and the things the actor did in general. Through out most of the soliloquy Alexander Fodor had a slow, even paced flow when reading the lines, which is important for any actor, but especially is this soliloquy because a lot of the things Hamlet is saying are very thoughtful and deep. Accordingly, the actor quickened, or slowed, his pace slightly where it was appropriate effective, this shows that the actor was very practiced in performing the soliloquy but also really understood and was familiar with the text. For example when he read the lines 59-60; “To die, to sleep – no more, and by a sleep to say we end,” he slowed his pace, which is very fitting when you look at what he’s saying. Then at lines 69-73; “For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,” he slowed his pace. This choice was fitting because it would be appropriate to think that Hamlet would be slightly more passionate or enraged during these lines, because he’s listing off short comings in life that people shouldn’t have to take, and when people are more upset or angry, they tend to talk faster. Another little thing about Alexander that I noticed was his ascent. The actor seemed to have an English ascent of some sort and it was very fitting for the part of Hamlet, for obvious reasons. The actor’s eyes through out his performance were also a large part of why I chose this video. He did not do much moving when performing the lines, nor would it really fit the soliloquy if he were to do so. So the actor pretty much had to rely on his facial expressions to help him convey the lines. One of the ways he did this was through the use of eyes. They were cold, distant, pensive, even seemingly terrified at some parts, all of these are emotions I would expect Hamlet to be feeling as he gives this speech. It was very effective to his performance and really made his performance my favorite.
This performance seemed to be set in a morgue of some sort and the actor was speaking into a tape recorder or something. These two things combined added a modern day, even a somewhat cold, futuristic vibe to the soliloquy, and that’s also a big reason why I picked it. We’re all familiar with the classic, yet all too typical way of this soliloquy being read; a guy in the old English tight black pants, puffy white shirt, and a skull. But this video took it into a new and interesting direction and I always find it interesting when people add their own to a classic piece such as this.