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Do you need to act in Shakespeare to fully understand it?Do actors experience...

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 17, 2008 at 10:28 AM via web

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Do you need to act in Shakespeare to fully understand it?

Do actors experience Shakespeare on a level which the audience or reader does not? Does playing Shakespeare grant an otherwise inaccessible dimension?

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ashcat | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 23, 2008 at 8:49 AM (Answer #2)

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I think that acting in general offers a different interpretation of the text. When one is acting, they are focusing totally on the one character they play, getting into their head, understanding their past and their relationships. It's a very involved process and the added element of an audience to encourage or discourage your interpretation greatly affects your performance. There is also the added input of directors and fellow cast-mates.

Take Hamlet for example. The question of Hamelt's sanity has been a topic of discussion for years. Depending on how the actor and director view Hamlet (sane or insane) the character could be played several different ways. While a reader can also make this decision for her/himself, there is something tangible about actually seeing live people become the characters one has only imagined.

I think that actors can access a character in a way that is different from how a reader might, but as for the play as a whole, I believe that some things do get lost.

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gnayuo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 7, 2009 at 8:09 PM (Answer #3)

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i think understanding hamlet is based on your personally intelligence in the field of english as well as renaissance english.

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