Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Character Overview : Ophelia


Key Words: mental distress, depression, low self-esteem, lack of dignity, self identification, self perception, self deprecation.
1. What new information did you learn about your character in Act 4 that would help an actor or actress understand him or her better?
            The songs that she sings help express the reasons for her madness.
                        Ex. “He is dead and gone, lady” Act 4 Scene 5
2. In each scene where your character appears, what is his or her motivation and objective? In other words, what does he or she really want? (Sometimes this will be difficult or impossible to determine.)
            In act 4 scene 5, Ophelia appears distressed because her objective is for people to listen and no one did until she became mad.
                        “Pray you, mark.”
3. How does your character feel about the events in Act 4? About Hamlet?
            She’s conflicted by her feelings for Hamlet.
                        “He is dead and gone”
                                    -Old Hamlet
4. What do other characters say about your character and how do they react to him or her? How does your character feel about other characters?
            “I will not speak with her.”-Gertrude
                        -Gertrude may not want to speak with Ophelia because she feels guilty that her son, Hamlet, killed Polonius and therefore she probably can’t face Ophelia out of guilt.
                        -Gertrude’s ignorance towards Ophelia’s madness doesn’t allow her to view past the superficial appearance.
            “She is importunate, indeed distract. Her mood will needs be pitied.” –Gentleman
                        -His response to Gertrude
            “Pray you, mark.” – Ophelia
                        -Ophelia just wants everyone to listen to her and she finally got fed up with being ignored and having her opinion being placed out of importance.
            “How do you, pretty lady?” – Claudius
                        -Her appearance
                        -He may want to be calming her down.
             “ Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?” - Gertrude
-Shows Gertrude’s shift in interest for Ophelia.
-She’s intrigued by the things Ophelia’s saying.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ham's Labyrinth

This is my artist statement for anyone who viewed my piece of artwork and took it into any further consideration.
     My individual artwork was named Ham's Labyrinth. The basic design of it is a labyrinth within the outline of a brain. To go further into description, the Labyrinth itself is color coded into three basic areas, which each lead to a basic outcome. These three outcomes are Life, Death, and Vengeance. The labyrinth itself is a representation of Hamlet's mind. To ensure that viewers realized this, the entire Labyrinth is within a mind so it is only a matter of understanding that aspect of the image. The reason there are these three outcomes is due to an idea that came out of both a classmate and the student that helped my group from Professor Werlin's class. The idea is that in Hamlet's mind there is a constant struggle of what to do next and what comes with making that choice. Because of this struggle, he is constantly stuck and confused on what the proper choice is. To get straight to the point " to be or not to be, that is the question" and "As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge". Put even more bluntly the questions are: Should I live?, Should I die? and should I take revenge?.  He is never truly sure what he should do until the end and at that point he is already poisoned.
   So anyone seeing the image can understand it a bit more clearly, Hamlets course of mind is represented in blue and everytime something crucial happened there is a purple spot. These purple spots are Key Events in the play. To name a few: the beginning which starts of with the Late King having passed, then it continues with different events such as the fight with Ophelia and the play enacted to trick the King. Each time there is an event, Hamlet usually makes a drastic change in action but keeps a similar  perspective. By this, what I mean is that even if he is still acting differently, his mind and thoughts still revolve around the same subject. For example, when the King died Hamlet's question was "why can't I kill myself" or in his words "that this too too sullied flesh would melt". This is the basic outcome of death. Right before the fight with Ophelia, the question is should I live or should I die, or in his words "to be or not to be". That is where the choice life comes in. The reason that I have one more outcome is because the outcome itself shows somewhat of a halfway point between Life and Death: Vengeance.
   If you notice certain aspects of Hamlet and the way he talks, Hamlet notes Vengeance as the key outcome unconcerned about whether he lives or dies. He addresses Vengeance as something he can use to solve his problems but doesn't show his will to live. It is the middle point because vengeance is the point where he can either die or live. In the story he implies as though he is putting up with life for the sole reason of enacting his vengeance.  In other words, Vengeance is his reason to live so after he enacts his vengeance what happens to Hamlet? He is still left with the choice of being alive or taking his life.
   To refer back to the actual art , in the play I saw Hamlet lean towards Death and Vengeance. He never really leans towards Life but instead struggles with the fear of death and the aftermath. So this can be seen, " Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life if not for the dread of something after death". He does fear what comes after death but if that fear wasn't there, and if it was not something he thought would be a sin, he would have had a deeper inclination to the other two outcomes and chosen them. He plainly states that he doesn't like the world. " How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world". It shows he puts up with life for fear and along with that vengeance.
   The Labyrinth itself ends in the outcome Vengeance. The reason being that he never chooses to die or to live. He just accepts his fate and in simple terms says "tell the truth about my story Horatio". He just accepts what's there but didn't say I want to live or save me or anything. He actually instead instantly tries to kill the King when he figures out he is about to die. He chose vengeance and with that accepted this outcome.
   Also to point out extra things about my image itself, the Labyrinth was a way of showing that Hamlet was always stuck within his mind and as a result, he could never really could decide what to do.  He didn't ever really decide whether or not he lived or died but nonetheless accepted it.
For anyone who got the reference, the name is a pun: Ham's Labyrinth and the pun is Pan's Labyrinth. I used this pun because Pan's Labyrinth it is a mythical maze that leads to the underworld. When applied to the story, the pun shows a kind of interesting twist to the story.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Joseph'sgroup Daily Refecltion Period 2

Joseph Mora
Leslie Romero 
Eric Ayala 
Hernan Lorenzo
Jose Perdomo
           It was great to see everybody perform their scene for today's class. It really helped me understand the scenes more deeply, especially act II scene II. I loved seeing Hamlet's character develop in this scene and how his conversation with Polonius said a lot about him. He is quick-witted and Polonius is slow in understanding what Hamlet is trying to tell him. This scene really depicts how Hamlet is always seemingly thinking and over thinking things and how he gives clues of his inner thoughts. I noticed the importance of asides in the scene, which hadn't previously registered with me as important, and how we can see Polonius' direct feelings/reactions towards how Hamlet is treating him. I also noticed more strategical things that Shakespeare does in this scene like the use of double entendre and dramatic irony.
On October 28, was about two groups performing “Words, words, words” and “The Nunnery” scene. I thought the first group gave detailed information about the scene. What struck me the most was when Jahmal explained the role of friendship, because that goes on in our everyday lives. Polonius is dense and also a spy. Hamlet talks about the book, but in reality he’s talking Polonius. The blindness by Polonius is irony, since he is not aware of Hamlet talking about his character. The second group also gave detailed information about the Nunnery Scene. Hamlet blames women, especially Ophelia, that they’re the reason why men get angry. He wishes all marriages to end all marriages and storms off. In my opinion, I believe that Hamlet shouldn’t be mad at Ophelia for one incident, and make bad assumption to all the women in the world.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Daily Reflection for Monday, October 28, 2013
Period 2: Manuel's group, Rebecca Segovia, Emeli Castillo, Casey Cortez, Kobe Martinez

On this day we viewed scenes Act II.ii and the Nunnery Scene. It was interesting to see how the people who played the same character as someone else took a different approach to the way they interpreted said character. For example, in the Nunnery scene the character of Hamlet had two actors. Both actors did a very good job at displaying Hamlet's emotions. One actor(Deisy) came off as nice and calm, while the other was more demanding when she(Aran) confronted Ophelia(Eric). I appreciated these two different perspectives because just as each actor has a distinct way of looking at a character, each reader has a distinct way of looking at the play or maybe even characters as well. Some people say that Hamlet is insane, while others say he is so intelligent that the people around him mistake his intellectuality for madness. We also found it interesting how in Act II.ii Hamlet speaks to Polonius in a degrading manner. The way Hamlet speaks to Polonius is demeaning and displays Polonius' blindness. The irony in this scene demonstrates Hamlet's wit. This brought me and my group members to question some things:
1) Did Hamlet kill Polonius knowingly?
2)What is the significance on "honesty" in these two scenes?
3) Does Hamlet insult Polonius and his children by calling him a "breeder of sins"?
4) Why does Hamlet repeat the topic of producing "sinned" offspring?

Daily Reflection for October 20, 2013
Period 1: Manuel's group...Rebecca Seg, Emeli Castillo, Casey Cortez, Kobe Martinez

We were assigned the "Mouse trap" scene(III.ii). When we realized we would have to perform this scene most of us thought it would be a simple read out loud and act exercise. We were wrong. We quickly realized that in order to act the scene out we had to understand the situation and thoughts that went on in the characters' minds. Hamlet was a handful. This scene is filled with sexual innuendos towards Ophelia, remarks against his mother and uncle, and mixed objectives. In order to understand the significance of Hamlet's innuendos we had to pay close attention to the way he acted towards Ophelia, upon doing so we realized that the innuendos' true purpose was to insult and possibly arouse Ophelia. The remarks Hamlet made towards his mother were simply a way of him trying to make her realize her actions and wrong doings. Hamlet's attitude towards Claudius starts as a sarcastically joyful tone, however, Hamlet uses this tone to give Claudius comfort so that when Mouse Trap goes on his reaction will be all the more shocking. Hamlet's objective in this scene seems to be to capture Claudius' conscience through guilt, however, his references towards Ophelia and words towards his mother make his objective turn into objective(s). Hamlet makes an attempt at seizing this opportunity to pin the top three people who have wronged him the most: Ophelia, Gertrude, and of course, Claudius. So, in a way this Mouse Trap is more like a... MICE TRAP!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


So--in reading the sullied flesh monologue again with Period 3,  my Jeff Dolven edition totally stands apart from students' editions, especially with regards to punctuation.  I wanted to ask how people feel about the dash versus the comma--and why you might want to use one vs. another. For example:

It is not nor it cannot come to good--
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

It is not nor it cannot come to good,
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.
(No Fear Hamlet)

It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

I can't find my Arden at the moment. But...punctuation! Any thoughts? Preferences? Which punctuation do you think represents Hamlet the most? dash, comma or period?

Hamlet's Invasion Of Ophelia's Mind

They say that through the eyes we are able to find a person's soul or Is it that ones soul is reflected in a persons eyes? No, no, no that's not it. The eyes are the doors to a persons soul. Ahh! About my brain, what my drawing portrays is the meaning of inner textual depth. That is why my portraits focal point is directed in the eyes. These eyes tell you what you want them too. As the artist I believe that you choose to see what you want. That is why within these eyes you reflect yourself. Whether it's pain or pleasure you'll see it. I initially received my inspiration from “Frailty, thy name is woman!” and responded with “Fertility, thy name is woman?” This thought rose of a woman’s reproductive system hence the fallopian tubes around the eyes and the ovaries disguised as the eyes.  Because through the hips of a woman the world has been created and through the thought of a woman’s sexuality has Hamlet really revolved. Male characters use phases such as “unpregnant of my cause” “must like a whore, unpack my heart with words” “incestuous sheets” “are you honest (sexually pure/a virgin)” my drawing is central to the meaning of Hamlet because it describes women and their vulnerability and sexuality. Ophelia is accused by Hamlet that she is a breeder of sinners and needs to go to "a nunnery", though "a nunnery" has two connotations to it. One being a whorehouse to expose her unholiness or an actual nunnery to purify her unholy soul. All these factors are played out behind the mask because Ophelia’s character appears without a past and no other relations but to Hamlet to tie her to a larger cause. She is instead defined largely in relationship to Hamlet. Ophelia's identity is never really explicit through her own being but in fact is drawn out by Hamlets anger and insanity. That is why the arms of a man are encrypted within the fallopian tubes to represent that although women create men, men oppress women. Faith is believing what you don’t see. And Hamlet's faith has caused the fall of many.