The text of Shakespeare can be performed using the same approach we use for modern text. We just need to figure out what the character wants from the other character. That is known as a character's objective. By knowing what the other character wants, we unlock the truth of the moment and help our audience understand Shakespeare's text. What makes Shakespeare a bit harder to perform is the fact that his language is much different than what we use today. As we read the play, take a look at the helpful images and hints from our additional sources. As you perform your role aloud with the class, try to determine what is happening to your character and what you want from the character you are talking to. This will not only help you understand the story better but help you perform your part more truthfully when the camera is rolling.
Hamlet's Acting Advice
In Act 3, Scene 2, Hamlet is speaking to one of the actors who will reenact a play that is intended to make Claudius the King feel guilty. Hamlet is trying to gain proof that Claudius killed his father in order to be King. Hamlet is going to recreate the murder onstage and watch Claudius' reaction. If Claudius seems uncomfortable or squirms, then Hamlet will know Claudius is indeed his father's murderer. During this section of the play, Hamlet's speech is emphatic and direct. He demands good acting. If the players are not convincing and act poorly then his scheme will not be effective. Let's look at his advice to the actors. Can this advice be helpful to us as actors today?
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Hamlet
How do you say this guy's name?