feigning madness

Finn’s disobedience and defection: Parallels to real-life resistance against Nazi Germany

Finn’s resistance against the First Order, both from within as a Stormtrooper and later as a Resistance fighter, reflect and parallel real-life dissent and resistance against fascism. This post will discuss some of those parallels.

I will confine my discussion of historical precedents to Europe in World War 2, partly because the First Order itself draws from Nazi imagery and history and, as @attackfish has pointed out, The Force Awakens uses Holocaust motifs quite effectively in depicting the First Order’s crimes. Another reason is that Finn’s actions in combination have the distinctive characteristics of resistance both from within and outside of Germany during World War 2.

The three main parallels in Finn’s actions to historical resistance are as follow: Conscientious objection to a criminal order, the rescue of a pilot from enemy territory, and direct action to rescue a prisoner. Below I will discuss each of these categories in more detail and end with a coda on parallels to German defectors who took up arms against the Nazis.

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i got you (please don’t let go of me)

it’s 4am again and im having feeling about jason scott again

Read on AO3

—–

There was something wrong.

Jason couldn’t put his finger on what, but there was something not right. He felt uneasy. Like his body was trying to tell him something. He was lying in his bed – his window always opened ever since the night at the mine in because his friends had taken the habit of coming to his room whenever they wanted, usually when they needed company or comfort.

He remembered the day Pearl was born - he looked at her with wonder in his eyes, holding her tightly in his arms. He heard her laugh, and saw stars in her eyes, and vowed to himself to be the best brother in the world. Just like in the movies. He had wanted to be a superhero for her, before actually becoming one. And now he had added four persons to protect in that oath. He was, in some ways, a big brother to his team – “more like the mom friend”, had said Zack laughing one day.

He usually felt them coming, before seeing them. In was an unshakable feeling in his body, in his bone, and when they were feeling bad, it was like something was out of place. Like something in the universe had shifted, was out of balance, and he couldn’t rest until he fixed it. Like those night after an argument with his father where Pearl came to his room crying because he didn’t want them to fight, and he couldn’t sleep before reassuring her. Going to sleep knowing his baby sister was unwell was impossible. Just like if one of his teammates was having a hard time.

This night was one of those night.

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[2/?] roman holiday

█ title: roman holiday
█ pairing: jeon Jungkook/park jimin
█ writer: kafeuka
█ rating: nc17
█ summary: Jungkook was sure as hell he did not spend the last ten years training to babysit the man he used to have sex with. But, well, shit happens. (Or: In which Jungkook somehow landed on a job as a bodyguard to protect hotel owner Jimin who happened to be under his monitoring division in the training center)

note: i’d like to apologize for the late update lmao my head’s been a mess lately and i just didn’t have the motivation to continue writing this ㅠㅠ
also this is unedited so there might be mistakes here and there
(i’ve actually finished the first few scenes decades ago but yeah)
once again i’m sorry for this shitty chapter lmao
don’t kill me (˃̩̩̥ɷ˂̩̩̥)

★ this is a sequel to ‘you’re ripped at every edge (but you’re a masterpiece)’
☆ to read the other chapters, click here

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It’s always seemed a little preposterous that Hamlet, for all his paralyzing doubt about everything, never once doubts the reality of the ghost. Never questions whether his own madness might not in fact be unfeigned. […] That is, whether Hamlet might only be feigning feigning.
—  Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
12 Classic Books That Will Change Your Life

Reading can become a serious but positive addiction once you indulge into it. Many studies and experiments have proved that books can have a huge impact on your mind. They cause biological changes; researchers have found that a powerful story can create ‘muscle memory’ in the brain in the same way as if the events and facts had actually happened to the reader. It is interesting that a good book is usually universal, it can affect people of all ages, social status, nationality etc.
Below you will find a list of 12 books that have changed lives of many bibliophiles; if you haven’t read them yet, do it now, because reading is one of the best pleasures of human being.

1.To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

The book published in 1960 gained popularity and success immediately. It has won the Pulitzer Prize, and has become classic of modern American Literature. The story and characters are based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors. She also tells about the story that happened to her near her hometown at the age of 10. The novel deserved popularity due to its warmth and humor, even though it touches the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. Atticus Finch, the narrator’s father, has become a moral hero for many readers and a model of integrity for lawyers. One of the critics, describing the novel’s impact says that To Kill a Mockingbird is probably one of the most widely read books about race-related problems in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch is the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.”

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Child Cussing

“Oh fuck” Maka whipped around to look at the little three year old standing behind her. The little girl was crestfallen because the block castle she was building had fallen over.

“Where did you learn to say that?” Maka tried to say it as sweetly as she could instead of letting her anger show. She knew it would be the wrong person to get angry at.

“Daddy says it all the time.” Her daughter lightly kicked at the blocks and turned around to watch what was on the tv.

Maka left the little girl where she was and opened her bedroom door, lightly closing it behind her. She walked toward the bed and watched the sleeping figure before abruptly kicking the edge of the bed.

“Wake up!” She yelled and Soul bolted out of bed.

“The hell, Maka.” He looked at her like she was insane.

She placed her hands on his hips and said, “have you been cussing in front of Madi?”

“Huh?” He asked while rubbing the sleepiness out of his eyes.

“I just heard Madi say ‘fuck’ and when I asked her where she learned it from, she said you. What have I told you about controlling your language in front of her?”

“You woke me up for this? It’s ten in the morning, you should know that’s too early for me.” Soul laid back in bed, turning his back to Maka, prompting her to get on the bed to straddle him.

“I don’t want my damn daughter cussing. We had this discussion before she was even born.”

“Maybe she gets it from you. It’s not like I’m the only one who cusses in this damn house.” Maka leaned over to grab her book from the nightstand and hit him on the head. “Argh it’s too damn early for this shit, Maka. If I promise to watch my language around her, can I go back to sleep?”

“Maybe if you promise to also have Star watch his language.”

“I can’t control everything.”

“Then I don’t know if I’ll still be angry at you tonight.” Maka crawled off him but before she was completely of the bed, Soul grabbed her wrist to pull her back to him.

“Then just forgive me for now.” Soul said as he started to kiss the nook of neck.

Maka lightly pushed him, feigning annoyance. “I’m still mad at you. and Madi is right outside.”

“Is she watching tv?”

“She’s watching that one show she loves with the platypus.”

“Then she’ll be distracted for a while.” He went back to kissing her neck.
Maka turned around to look at him, giving him a small smile. “She’s just like her dad.” A month later Maka found out she was pregnant with their second child and when Soul found out he thought it would be funny to each Madi more curse words. Needless to say, when Maka found out what he was doing she knocked him out with one of her books.

2

literature meme || {2/5} plays
→ Hamlet (William Shakespeare)

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, who is Claudius’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king’s widow and Prince Hamlet’s mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature, with a story capable of “seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others.” The play was one of Shakespeare’s most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most-performed, topping the Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance list since 1879. It has inspired writers from Goethe and Dickens to Joyce and Murdoch, and has been described as “the world’s most filmed story after Cinderella”. (x)

Hamlet review: “Not what we were expecting from Benedict Cumberbatch - but only he could pull it off”

Jonathan Holmes was there at the opening of the Barbican’s much anticipated production

By Jonathan Holmes
Thursday 6 August 2015 at 09:26AM

Benedict Cumberbatch playing Hamlet is so obvious, it feels like it happened already. One of the most talented and popular actors of this generation doing THE role in theatre. Every painter paints himself and eventually every actor plays Hamlet, so the thinking goes.

But more than that, the character seems like such a natural fit: the intellectual Dane played by the actor who has made a career out of geniuses. Hamlet has always been a geek posterboy – awkward but passionate, intelligent but crippled by self-doubt – and Cumberbatch is the go-to example of the power of modern fandoms. In the media, the online hordes of Cumberfans have become lazy shorthand for nerds and obsessives, so much so that some predicted the opening night would be disrupted by shrieking.

(Of course this was utter nonsense – the audience were receptive and respectful, exactly as we predicted.)

Nevertheless, it is tempting to view Cumberbatch’s Hamlet as representing the triumph of nerd culture. We now live in the age of Comic-Con, when 10 year olds and 30 year olds play with the same action figures. Adults no longer have to put away their childish things. Thus Cumberbatch’s version of the prince isn’t an adolescent struggling to become a man to avenge his father. Instead, he moves in the opposite direction, reverting to childhood – playing toy soldiers and digging through the dressing up box to feign madness. His ‘antic disposition’ is a form of arrested development. For this version of Hamlet, the play is not the thing, but playtime.

The entire production is staged in a palatial drawing room – watching the actor clamber on the furniture (those spindly legs are an engineering marvel) recalls the infantilised Edwardians, who ran around their stately homes playing Sardines before getting cut down in the war. Cumber-let is not the student prince or arch intellectual or even Sherlock’s motormouth – instead he has the precocious intelligence of a child.

The result is that this is the funniest version of the tragedy you will ever see. You might expect the cheek-boned wonder to bring the pathos, but his real strength is finding laughs in unexpected places, gambolling about the stage with a comic energy. On opening night, the one outbreak of spontaneous applause was for Hamlet’s first surreal appearance as a madman – which is often irritating in other productions – rather than more quoted sections like ‘To be or not to be’.

On that note, actors sometimes claim to hate the big lines – they are so well known the entire scene revolves around them. The audience holds its breath like the actor is approaching a high jump. One solution is to underplay them, but director Lindsey Turner takes a different tack, rearranging the text so the soliloquys strike you from unexpected directions.

(We all giggled when some fans issued ‘spoiler warnings’ about the 400-year-old play, but they actually are quite appropriate.)

Initially this decision looks like a disaster. To be or not to be is deployed immediately after the curtain rises, from a standing start. Cumberbatch has to do the acting equivalent of a drag race, accelerating to a level of desolation that feels completely unearned.

It rings hollow and gets the play off on a worrying note. But then you realise that is the point. Cumberbatch is known for playing hyper-intelligent characters, but the real genius of this performance is how he lets the audience see the limits of Hamlet’s personality. His suicidal monologue comes across as childish histrionics, a huff. Cumberbatch is threading a difficult line here. Children – like the travelling players that so impress Hamlet with their fake crying – feel things strongly but not deeply.

Later when Hamlet has truly suffered, Cumberbatch shows the true extent of his depression, and you remember his skill. It’s a brave actor who knows when to act badly. It’s one of a number of subtle points the play makes about our nostalgic urge for childhood, and the essential selfishness at the heart of it.

When David Tennant – another geek icon – played the role back in 2008, it was as a handsome gap year layabout. Hamlet’s confrontation with his mother had an erotic charge, taking place in the bed she shared with Hamlet’s father and uncle, reeking of “the sweaty stench of your dirty sheets.” For all of his good looks, Cumberbatch’s version couldn’t be less sexy, taking place in something that looks like a Punch and Judy show.

Instinctively this makes more sense. Most children grow out of their Oedipal issues by puberty – we can believe Cumberbatch’s overgrown child ranting about his mother’s new boyfriend more than we can believe Tennant’s stubbled backpacker putting the moves on his mum.

But also, without the hint that Hamlet’s sexual attraction is reciprocated, the full extent of his misogyny is revealed. This is an arrogant, immature, sexually naïve, emotionally stunted egotist who believes he has the right to tell a woman how to act and who she can sleep with, even resorting to physical coercion to get his way. His relationship with Ophelia is chilling – by turns calling her a slut and frigid until she is driven to her death, all in the name of his own selfish, juvenile desires.

With an army of arrogant, immature, sexually naïve, emotionally stunted egotists currently waging a war against women on social media, this is an important point to make to this Internet literate audience.

It just one of a number of subtle complications in this surprisingly challenging production. By all accounts Hamlet at the Barbican is a blockbuster, its star is hashtag famous and at one point a confetti cannon detonates, but it is not mere fodder for the crowds. It’s weird and deliberately off-putting in places, and if Cumberbatch never fully disappears into the role, it’s to use his fame to wrong-foot the audience. It makes one of the most familiar stories in history surprising and unpredictable, and even if it’s not always successful, it is anything but obvious. At the centre of it all, barely pausing for breath, is a man used to making us empathise with otherwise unlikeable people.

This is not the Hamlet we were expecting from Benedict Cumberbatch, but only Cumberbatch could pull it off.

—  Radio Times
An Introduction to Hamlet

In-turquoise asked me for an introduction to Hamlet, so I thought I’d post my favorite, by Stephen Greenblatt, from The Norton Shakespeare (W. W. Norton, 1997).

***

“Who’s there?” Shakespeare’s most famous play begins. The question, turned back on the tragedy itself, has haunted audiences and readers for centuries. Hamlet is an enigma. Mountains of feverish speculation have only deepened the interlocking mysteries: Why does Hamlet delay avenging the murder of his father by Claudius, his father’s brother? How much guilt does Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, who has since married Claudius, bear in this crime? How trustworthy is the ghost of Hamlet’s father, who has returned from the grave to demand that Hamlet avenge his murder? Is vengeance morally justifiable in this play, or is it to be condemned? What exactly is the ghost, and where has it come from? Why is the ghost, visible to everyone in the first act, visible only to Hamlet in Act 3? Is Hamlet’s madness feigned or true, a strategy masquerading as a reality or a reality masquer­ading as a strategy? Does Hamlet, who once loved Ophelia, continue to love her in spite of his apparent cruelty? Does Ophelia, crushed by that cruelty and driven mad by Hamlet’s murder of her father, Polonius, actually intend to drown herself, or does she die accidentally? What enables Hamlet to pass from thoughts of suicide to faith in God’s providence, from “To be, or not to be” to “Let be”? What was Hamlet trying to say before death stopped his speech at the close? Hamlet, as one critic has wittily remarked, is “the tragedy of an audience that cannot make up its mind.”

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Hamlet – A review by UCBUT

Well, a promise made is a promise kept! Here is my personal review of this marvellous piece of theatre that was Hamlet by Lindsey Turner. Because it really was fantastic. “Spoilers” ahead.

A foreword…

The play is really faithful to Shakespeare’s original text. No simplification or modernization! Only some reorganisation or cuts here and there. Nothing harmful. And all the more impressive when you think about the thousands of lines to learn and remember! (Especially in BC’s case, since his current predicament probably didn’t help, but that’s another story)

Set

As everyone has already stated, the set design was incredible. I’m not familiar with theatre at all, but I loved what Danny Boyle did with Frankenstein on the NT stage, and Es Devlin’s work is equally, if not far more impressive. The colours, textures, structure, props and decorations… everything was absolute perfection and created a warm, rich, incredible atmosphere, whether it be in the first 3 acts (palace interior, with a gorgeous banquet scene) or the last two (amazing post-bombing/apocalyptic look). Also… CONFETTIS!!! (reaching the audience only on the right side of the theatre, BTW)

On a negative note: if you’re sitting on the far left of the stage, you don’t see what’s happening upstairs, which is a shame for one main scene at the beginning (= Hamlet fighting with Marcellus and Barnardo when his father’s ghost appears) and little details afterwards (e.g. staff looking through Ophelia’s papers and letters); and if you’re sitting in the front row, you can’t see what’s happening just after the banquet scene in the main corridor behind the table (two guests playing cat and mouse, with little clothes on, IIRC!).

Lighting

A beautiful set means nothing without good lighting. And for Hamlet, Jane Cox’s work highlighted Es Devlin’s vision in a superb fashion. The banquet scene, as mentioned above, was the best realisation in that regard. I also loved the exterior scenes or those happening at night (e.g. Hamlet in England). Again, the atmosphere was incredible. There were real candles (you could even smell the smoke after they were put out), and special effects (strobe lights, steam visible in the projectors’ light…). Everything was smartly done and worked hand in hand with the set and movement on stage. I guess it’s a basic requirement, but nothing felt out of place or cheap. It really worked smoothly.

Sound and music

This Nat King Cole introduction still gives me shivers and makes me cry every time I hear it. So nice a choice for Hamlet – who he is, how he sees the world around him… and a choice which completes the enchanting vibe of the set that appears just afterwards for the banquet scene. The parade/military music was a very good choice too, and BC had real fun with it. I wish I knew what it is! But my love goes to the sad and dramatic tunes, which beautifully conveyed the emotional atmosphere of some scenes: an ethereal piano piece for Ophelia going to her death, muffled and rhythmic sounds like heartbeats when Hamlet is being chased or when a menacing Claudius plots his murder)… Hamlet’s father’s ghost had a nice grim echo too.

Movement/directing

There’s always movement everywhere. BC alone works the stage, standing still for some lines and then moving around. With other actors, he’s using all the space there is, which, for specific scenes (e.g. with Ophelia, Gertrude or Horatio/Marcellus/Barnardo), reinforces his wildness and excitement. Only one scene (= Ophelia singing) is mostly happening on the far left of the stage, and thus lacks dynamics.

The palace’s staff is often busy in the background during the main scenes, which was smart both visually and technically, as they are the ones who put in place or remove the various elements and props on or from the stage between scenes. The slow motion, used for every mind-palace-like sequences with Hamlet, was also a very good idea. A bit surprising and funny at first, but a really good idea.

A big no-no for me was the general choreography for the scenes where Hamlet is being chased (with actors bouncing before crawling (???) on the floor or simulating electric shocks to go with the probe lights) and when Hamlet stabs Laertes (with everyone dancing more or less gracefully around them both). I couldn’t help but laugh every time. The concept was interesting, but the execution was… let’s say sloppy and a bit weird, frankly on the verge of ridiculous.

Costumes

I really liked them, and especially their timeless feel – end of 19th century, 30’s, 40’s, 60’s, modern times… A lot of fashion periods were represented and sometimes mixed together in a fun way (Converse sneakers, BC and his Bowie T-shirt or his hoodie, etc.). Ah, and modern guns are used as props, adding to the timeless vibe.

On a negative note: I deplore the use of a headdress by Hamlet, even for a few seconds. They could have used anything else.

Performance

I knew BC was going to do a nice job with his Hamlet, and he was really, really, REALLY good. A bit OTT or unnatural/forced in some alone scenes during the first performance I’ve seen (only the first), but that’s the only and tiny negative point. Overall, he’s majestic. Hamlet’s sadness, loneliness, cynicism, anger (oooh, his anger…), excitement, playfulness, despair… Everything was beautifully played and nuanced. The man jumps, races around, climbs tables, fences all over the place. He’s incredibly energetic and sweats an awful lot. He often screams his wrath and disgust at the audience or other characters, which is very, VERY impressive. So impressive that I sometimes couldn’t even move or blink. He drowns himself in the role and gives his all into the performance, crying and trembling with a face red from anger. I don’t know how he manages not to lose his voice or collapse from exhaustion at the end of each show.

But the most pleasant surprise was the comical side of his Hamlet. This man is not only excellent in drama, but he’s pure comedy gold! The funny faces he makes, the high-pitched tone he uses (Martin Crieff-like), his toy soldier frenzy, awkwardly dancing with Rosencrantz… he’s HILARIOUS. I wish I could have told him that at stage door. He made the whole audience laugh hard, myself included. It was glorious to watch.

As for the vision of Hamlet – even though I’m not familiar enough with the play or the character, the way he regresses to childhood to feign madness (and also probably to protect himself and his own sanity faced with his impossible situation), felt right to me. Whether it came from Lindsey Turner or BC, it was a very good idea.

Performance-wise, my personal favourites aside from BC’s Hamlet were Jim Norton’s Polonius (very clear, natural and funny, totally comfortable with Shakespeare’s text which he delivers with excellence), Leo Bill’s Horatio (giving Shakespeare’s English a welcome modern tone), Anastasia Hille’s Gertrude (her scenes with a frantic Hamlet or after Ophelia’s death were just right, neither tame nor too much) and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s Laertes (wonderful resonant voice and range of emotions). I also liked very much Ciaran Hinds’ sly and nasty Claudius, Matthew Steer’s funny and nuanced Rosencrantz along with Rudi Dharmalingam’s also very right Guildenstern. Sian Brooke’s Ophelia only got my appreciation on the third night, when her performance was spot-on. Before that, it felt a bit over the top or weak. But her portrayal of Ophelia losing her mind was really good every time. (Her PDA with Hamlet is laughable though, especially when they sort of kiss near the chest from which Hamlet pulls out the headdress. I was like “OMFG, stop it, it reminds me of something!” LOL)

NOTE: For my last night on October 7, which began 5 minutes late, all were rushing their lines and gave the whole play another dimension, more vivid and way more emotional too. Especially BC, Anastasia Hille and Sian Brooke. I was very lucky to sit in the front row that night, as I could enjoy every emotion on their faces (and BC spitting and Gertrude crying – and drooling on her dress while screaming “Speak no more!”, hahahaha!)

BONUS: Look out for the “You’re a fishmonger” and “Thy loving father, Hamlet” scenes. He did them differently each time (a dance move/funny face/sniff for the former, an air kiss/funny face/flipping the bird (!!!) for the latter) and it was wonderfully comical.

BC’s appearance

Yes, he’s thin. There’s not an ounce of fat in that body! Only flesh and muscles. And yes, his face is gaunt. No surprise there. But he didn’t look unhealthy, thank God. He’s energized by the work, and looks dazzling on stage. Breathtakingly handsome. There’s a tiiiiiny bum coming back. But if his clothes (and mostly trousers) aren’t well adjusted, he’s swimming in them. For comparison: Kobna’s thighs and bum are roughly twice BC’s size! Anyway. A good rest after the run will do him good. ;)

Conclusion

I want to see it again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Well, you get it!

Congratulations to all the cast and crew.

Once more.

“Uncomfortable isn’t the word…” I groan. “I’m not sure you’ve noticed, but making an effort for conversation is like a whole other fuckin’ language to me. Most nights I just sorta rant off to whoever, or whatever, I may have been entwined with. I figured if I finally introduced myself, might spark off some input from your end. And if I’m lucky, shit you say might start makin’ sense.”

As I evidently pick up my age-old tradition of “ranting off”, whatever the hell I thought I meant, I feel around these unfamiliar pockets to find, uh huh, my shit’s in my other clothes.

I growl, and I stomp forward like an impertinent child deprived of her toy, taking a mental note of “Shit I Lost”.

Whatever. I suppose even cash is dispensable.

7

OK but… The Waitress in New World is Named OPHELIA!

So I was browsing through caps and other stuff for this episode to gather material on a color theory I’m stringing together, and I found out that the waitress in GM New World Lucas totally zones out on during his date with Riley - the blonde one, wearing a shirt that is almost exactly the one Maya dons in Yearbook (which was apparently custom dyed) - was billed as Ophelia!

Originally posted by dayinaday

MJ you mo’fo sly Shakespeare geek!

OK, so this is the episode where Maya is sporting the “To Be or Not To Be” Hamlet shirt (the second Hamlet shirt she wears is “To Thine Own Self Be True” in SOL - the episode where who Lucas is is put into question). @its-austen-anon-scholar wrote a bit about the Hamlet/Lucas link here, mostly in regard to his utter indecisiveness, and the malleable & undefined quality of his character.

Ophelia was one of two female characters in Hamlet (the other being Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude): she was the daughter of Polonius, and love (potential wife) of Prince Hamlet of Denmark. Her first appearance is with her brother, Laertes (whose name, btw, is from Odysseus’s father; and this is also the episode Lucas finds out Maya’s middle name is Penelope), who is headed to France. He warns Ophelia against Hamlet’s romantic pursuit of her, on the basis that Hamlet will lose his desire for her and that the King, not Hamlet, will choose who he is to marry. Act I, Sc 3:

Perhaps he loves you now,
And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
The virtue of his will, but you must fear.
His greatness weighed, his will is not his own,
For he himself is subject to his birth.
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself, for on his choice depends
The safety and health of this whole state.
And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
Unto the voice and yielding of that body
Whereof he is the head.

Their father, Polonius, makes his entrance thereafter, and gives Laertes a big speech filled with advice on how to behave with integrity and practicality (including the bit of: “This above all: to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day; Thou canst not then be false to any man.”). He then forbids Ophelia from associating with Hamlet as well.

Later on, however, Ophelia comes up to Polonius, frightened, as Hamlet - presumably after having had his encounter with the Ghost claiming to be his father’s spirit (Act I, Sc 5) - came into her room, unkempt, “with a look so piteous in purport [a]s if he had been loosed out of hell”. Polonius (and Ophelia) wonder if Hamlet has gone “mad with love” for her. Ophelia tells the story of their meeting as such (Act II, Sc 1):

He took me by the wrist and held me hard.
Then goes he to the length of all his arm,
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face
As he would draw it.
Long stayed he so.

At last, a little shaking of mine arm
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
And end his being.

That done, he lets me go,
And, with his head over his shoulder turned,
He seemed to find his way without his eyes,
For out o’ doors he went without their helps,

And to the last bended their light on me. 

I was always tempted to take this as being Hamlet’s unspoken farewell to Ophelia as he descends down the path to what looks like (might be) madness (his decision to feign madness to hide his motives brings him perilously close to actual madness; and, really, the question of his sanity is never categorically settled in the play). Ofc, it’s only described by her, and shows that Hamlet is making good of his promise to behave like a madman, but his distress (which seems very emotional from the description), after the spirit’s appearance and its revelations, can also fit in with Ophelia having spurned him (she obeyed her father) and his general opinion of women having taken a hit, to say the least, with his mother having married Claudius.

Anyway, this event drives the plot, as Polonius and Claudius decide to arrange a meeting between Ophelia and Hamlet, and spy on them. They meet on the tail of Hamlet’s famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy, and have a major confrontation (go read Act II, Sc 1 if you’re interested; Hamlet totally looks schizo - loved you/did not love you, and there’s an intriguing beauty/honesty bit). That scene, especially, is one of those that throws the audience that up until that point feels safe in the assumption that Hamlet is pretending to be mad to ward off suspicion from his uncle: but why, if he truly loved Ophelia, would he be unnecessarily self-destructive and callous? It doesn’t accomplish anything in terms of furthering his plans. Or does he deem it necessary to distance himself and abandon any and all connections? And some say he doesn’t love her anymore. His speech to her is in line with his growing discontent and bitterness towards women (and mankind in general), which are expressed there with such passionate fervor that the audience has to wonder how close he is to actual madness. Ophelia’s response is an excellent soliloquy itself (“O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown”). [My personal interpretation is that he feigned indifference.]

To make a long story short, this whole thing doesn’t end well for Ophelia. Hamlet kills Polonius. Her brother, Laertes comes back, and goes on, incited by Claudius, to pursue revenge with much more drive than Hamlet (seriously, his character is an amazing foil to Hamlet). Ophelia, on the other hand, goes mad, falls off a willow branch and drowns (the question of suicide is raised; Waterhouse has amazing paintings of her FYI). At Ophelia’s funeral, we get this very interesting bit from Hamlet (who didn’t know she had died until he saw the procession) as both he and Laertes (who’s furious at the Priest for questioning his sister’s innocence and not carrying out the full Christian ceremony) leap into Ophelia’s grave (Act V, Sc I, L 247) where they wrestle:

Hamlet:
  I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers
Could not with all their quantity of love
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her?

I have a shitload of thoughts, and I’m not sure yet what to make of them, but this is freaking amazing. AND all that “love like a brother” talk that pops up in late S2, with Laertes, in name, being linked to Odysseus, and coming back from France, and acting as a direct foil to Hamlet for most of the play… I need help. @yeoldeshipper@bmgmw@its-austen-anon-scholar

P.S. Hamlet refers to Ophelia multiple times as “the fair (beautiful) Ophelia”.
P.P.S. @westwingwolf They try and send Hamlet to England to gather his wits.

anonymous asked:

What Hogwarts house would you sort Hamlet into?

whoa big question, anon, and here’s the thing: I am actually terrible at sorting characters, I really really am

But I want to say Slytherin? Which I hate because it feels like the easy answer, but it also feels like it fits.

The main canonical traits of Slytherin house are cunning and ambition. They are achievement-oriented, means-justify-the-ends people.

Hamlet feigns madness so that no one will suspect that he’s trying to figure out whether or not Claudius is guilty and seek revenge on him. He doesn’t seem to have much care for who he hurts or uses or kills along the way as long as he can get there. He cares fiercely about his in-group when they aren’t getting in his way (Horatio) but isn’t afraid to turn on them when it benefits him (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Ophelia), and certainly doesn’t care who he hurts if they mean little to him (Polonius, Laertes).

I wasn’t sure at first, because in my mind I associate ambition with action and Hamlet, throughout the play, struggles with being able to make himself take action — he delays and delays and doesn’t do anything, doesn’t kill Claudius when he has Claudius right there — but then I came across this gem on the Harry Potter wiki:

“This means that Slytherins tend to hesitate before acting, so as to weigh all possible outcomes before deciding exactly what should be done.”

And, well if that doesn’t sound like Hamlet I’m not sure what does. He hesitates to kill Claudius because Claudius is praying and because he knows his revenge will be better served if Claudius is unprepared to die and unforgiven for his sins.

am I then revenged,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season’d for his passage?
No! (3.3)

Hamlet doesn’t have the the impulsiveness or the self-righteousness of a Gryffindor — that’s Laertes. No, he hesitates; he bides his time. We get soliloquy after soliloquy of Hamlet over-thinking every possible decision he could make for almost the entire play. 

Instead of charging in, sword-first, he plans out a play and watches Claudius’ reaction to see if he can pin the guilt on him first. He is a planner, not an actor, and almost to a fault.

In Act 2, he has the line, 

… What would he do Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? (2.2)

I wrote a whole paper once about this line, about Hamlet having the “cue” for passion and not the actual passion, not enough passion to actually act on it for most of the play. He doesn’t have the Gryffindor fire; he has the cold calculation of a Slytherin, even in something as emotionally charged as his father’s death. And he can cry and lament all he wants, but ultimately his choice is not to confront Claudius but to weave a trap around him, pulling everyone else into it. Despite his claim to the ghost:

Haste me to know ’t, that I, with wings as swift As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. (1.5)

his revenge is not immediate.  Even in the end, he goes into the duel with Laertes thinking he can win, and tells Horatio this, even though Horatio doubts it. 

His ambition may not be for the throne, to be king and rule Denmark because Claudius wrongfully took that from him, but instead ambition for revenge, which is just as valid an ambition.

[Sidebar: it’s also interesting to think about how Slytherin is aligned with the element of water, and… well, just as Ophelia’s death comes about through water it also comes about because of Hamlet.]

I think counterarguments can definitely be made — and a lot of it will depend on how the director and actor are choosing to read certain moments. Certainly, his scene with Gertrude (3.4) can be read in a vicious, angry Hufflepuff kind of way as he condemns her from her lack of loyalty. And certainly, it can be argued that none of Hamlet’s actions are his ambition, because he is simply doing what the ghost of his father asked and doesn’t even want to do it (“O cursed spite,That ever I was born to set it right!” [1.5]). And by the end of the play he’s lost a lot of his Slytherin tendencies, outgrown them or learned better than them (“Rashly— and praised be rashness for it: let us know our indiscretion sometimes serves us well when our deep plots do pall” [5.2]). But I also definitely think the case for Slytherin is there.

So yeah. I’d put him in Slytherin, but I’m also super open to anyone disagreeing. 

“You deserve love and security, a combination that warms the core of your heart. You deserve knowledge that the person you are with wants to be there and, more importantly, won’t run away when times get tough. This is someone that will stay by your side, fight your fights right there with you because they know you would do the same for them. You deserve someone who laughs at your jokes and smiles at the mere sight of you smiling. This smile will be genuine, not fake, and you will feel butterflies when you see it and your smile will grow until your cheeks can no longer take it.

You deserve someone who brings you coffee in the morning because they know the addiction is real. You deserve breakfast in bed, flowers “just because,” and hugs that feel like you are at home.

You deserve hands that only reach for you. They may be dry, cracked, calloused, perfectly manicured, or a complete mess, but they know you, your hands, and your body. They don’t reach away to know more.

You deserve someone who doesn’t make you cry, at least on purpose, because you are human and you feel deeply and love passionately, and when one teardrop falls there may be a thousand more, but you are not alone. Even though they hurt you, they hold you until the shaking stops, wiping away your tears and kissing your damp cheeks although you whisper for them to stop. They will say sorry and you will feign being mad until you both give in to happiness again because you know anger is a state the two of you cannot remain in.

You deserve someone who takes responsibility for their mistakes and who apologizes for the times they unintentionally hurt you because you would do the same for them. You deserve someone who can forgive as you do, even if neither of you can completely forget.

You deserve someone whose touch feels like fireworks across your skin, whose eyes always look for yours when they enter a room, and whose heart never yearns for the attention of another.

You deserve trust that may waver but never entirely falter. It will look nothing like control. It will look like freedom but with your best friend by your side holding your hand. There will be moments of jealousy, but these will be outweighed by smiles, laughter, trust, and love.

You deserve back rubs for no reason, dinner you don’t have to make alone, a hand to hold, a heart to feel, and a person who cannot imagine life without you in it.

You Can’t Forget That You Deserve Kindness, Too
It’s not selfish to accept selfless kindness and selfless love.
You deserve security just as much as you deserve spontaneity. You will be comfortable but not so settled down that stubborn roots no longer give you the nutrients you need to grow. This person you are with will try the things you enjoy and you will try the things they do as well. You will find new things to do and new places to go because you both love to share these sorts of moments together.

You deserve someone who pushes you to be better, to seek out the best opportunities for you even if the next step is terrifying for you both.

You deserve chocolate when you are cranky, a partner to indulge in your guilty television pleasures, and someone who tries to kiss you even though they just watched you puke up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the person who laughs when you correct their grammar instead of getting mad, the one who knows they had better text you back, and the person who understands that you will not always have your “A game” out on display.

You deserve someone who wants to be better for you, someone who strives to be better for you, but, most importantly, you deserve someone who wants to be better for themselves. This is the type of person who will grow alongside of you and never dream of holding you back.

You deserve someone who is looking at the big picture in life, and that picture has you in it.

You deserve someone who continues looking forward, someone who doesn’t stop constantly to look at the past. They may not like everything about who you were before, but they love who you have become. They know not to let your past trip them up for too long. You both came into the relationship with baggage that slowly unpacked itself and, even though it would be easy enough to pack up your things and go back to your respective homes, you both stay.

You deserve someone who loves you as much as you love them, a life that is so beautiful that you cannot tell if you are awake or still in bed dreaming, and someone who doesn’t so much as put one foot out the door because they know you are not the person to walk away from. This will be the person who sticks around through thick and thin because they want to, not because they have to.

You deserve all of this and so much more, and you deserve it for a lifetime.”
— What The Person You Deserve Is Like