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CLIP 8713

Hamlet: the mother and son relationship

Hamlet: the mother and son relationship
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Key Info
  • Hamlet: the mother and son relationship
  • Duration: 05:38
  • Actors Penny Downie and David Tennant discuss the 'closet scene' in 'Hamlet'. The actors consider what is revealed about the background to the mother/son relationship and the emotional implications. Downie considers the emotional demands and dangers of the scene. She also gives an insight into the physical experience of embodying this exhausting role. David Tennant suggests that his Hamlet does not suffer from any 'Oedipus complex'. Rather he does not want to think about his mother in any sexual terms and is therefore repulsed by her liaison with Claudius. Features extracts from the televised version of the 2008 RSC production of 'Hamlet'.
  • Subject:

    Drama

       Topic:

    Explorative Strategies

  • Keywords: Oedipus, Sophocles, Freud, naturalism, William Shakespeare, Penny Downie, David Tennant, RSC, Royal Shakespeare Company, HamletDrama
Ideas for use in class
  • Scope for much discussion on the interpretation of 'Hamlet', Gertrude and their relationship. Debate could focus on the grounds for Hamlet's rage and brutality in this scene. To what extent is Gertrude deserving of his vilification? A closer look at the moments of tenderness might also be valid. The demands on actors in such physical and emotional scenes are also well illustrated and may stimulate further investigation. Improvise scenes between the pair before Old Hamlet died – perhaps going through Hamlet's childhood from youngster to teenager to young man. How might this help the emotional action of the 'Closet Scene'? Find further resources at: www.bbc.co.uk/hamlet.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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