Hamlet welcomes the actors to his castle and asks the performer to give an impassioned speech. Watch as the Commedia dell'arte players perform the scene.
James Macandrew welcomes the audience to the second part of the series on William Shakespeare. Today's performance is derived from the first quarto of "Hamlet" which originated in 1603. Michael Alaimo's troupe performs the adaptation in the Commedia dell'arte style.
Watch the scene where Hamlet sees the ghost of his father and follows it into the night. The ghost reveals that his brother murdered him. The Shakespearean language is combined with Commedia dell'arte.
Hamlet pantomimes the "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Hamlet asks Ophelia to pray for his sins at the end of the scene. Watch an excerpt of the performance.
Hamlet confronts his mother and stabs Polonius. The ghost reappears and tells Hamlet to be kinder to his mother. The queen agrees to try to help Hamlet escape his exile.
Ophelia sings of unrequited love, chaos, and death. After Laertes arrives, Claudius convinces him that he is not at fault for Polonius' death and conspires to avenge it.
Credits: Commedia dell'Arte
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This program presents an abbreviated version of a Commedia Dell'Arte Hamlet, with farce and improvised dialogue interpolated into the play as written by Shakespeare. Based on the text of the First Folio, this approach emphasizes the relationship of old Italian slapstick to Elizabethan drama. Characters introduced into this version include Arlecchino, Captain, and Doctor— well-known in medieval Italian comedies and prototypes of the Punch and Judy shows.
Length: 27 minutes
Copyright date: ©1964
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video customers.
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