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What does Hamlet think the function of the player should be in relation to the script...

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predicting | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 12, 2009 at 3:32 AM via web

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What does Hamlet think the function of the player should be in relation to the script he wrote for them?

Hamlet wanted the players to suit the action to the word and speak the words as he wrote them down, the question is based on that.

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jagtig | Salutatorian

Posted September 12, 2009 at 4:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Hamlet's directions to the players are quite long. They begin here

http://www.tailsntales.com/eng/sha/ham/tex/sel_5.html#anchor278119

You could say that the function of the player is to pronounce the lines well, and in no way to "mouth" them, and by all means to avoid excessive gesticulation, but not be too tame, as well. Never laugh to cause others to laugh, and those that are clowns should only recite exactly what is set down for them, and not exceed their bounds.

 "Groundlings" are those who have permission only to sit upon the ground and watch, and not use benches, such as might be made available.

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to

you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it,

as many of your players do, I had as lief the

town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air

too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently;

for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say,

the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget

a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it

offends me to the soul to hear a robustious

periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to

very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who

for the most part are capable of nothing but

inexplicable dumbshows and noise: I would have such

a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it

out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. - III,ii,2 et seq.

 

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