May 21st, 2007

Olivier's Hamlet

Elsinore from the air looks like the surface of the human brain- a labyrinth of dead ends. 

The royal bed with its splayed curtains is so blatant an image of the vagina you wonder the censors didn't ask for  cuts.

Every time the king takes a drink the kettledrums rumble, the trumpets blare and the guns shoot- as if the sickened kingdom were belching.

Only through the window and door of Ophelia's room do you get a glimpse of summer.

Who is Hamlet?  Hamlet is the  steady flame of self awareness. He is thought itself- coiled up, self-consuming, breaking free in sudden, leonine bursts of action. 

"Remember me"- the universal plaint. When the corpses have been cleared away and the castle is empty and silent Ophelia's sprig of rosemary remains where she placed it,  lying- overlooked- on the arm of an empty chair.