Friday, 12 March 2010

Hamlet: He Loved His Father So Much

I am teaching Hamlet at the moment at the Actors Centre, the Saturday class is with my adult students, I have been teaching some of them for around 4 years and it is by far one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had. This time pretty much every Friday I get excited about what the class will bring the coming Saturday morning.

Back at the tail end of last year I was working on Hamlet myself and I got inspired to work on it with my students this term and we have been slogging our way through, to quite wonderful effect and are now deep into character work and in turn character development. It has been a revelation and I hope a great learning experience for the students, it certainly has been for me.

One thing that stands out in Hamlet is just how much he loves his dead father, so much so that he will kill for him, so much so that his mind is wracked with visions of him, so much so that his father's eternal words rattle around his skull. His father is God in his eyes, something transcendent, something through death that has become even more ever present.

I feel the ghost of Hamlet's father is nose to nose with his son through out much of the play; Hamlet keeps the demons at the door but the sheer force of will of his father looms large.

My dad is poorly at the moment and to hear him weak, tired and not at his best, even though he is 71, is a real blow. I feel my dad nose to nose with me, he looms large in my life, blessing me with so much knowledge, power and strength and I wish him a speedy recovery with every shred of my being and to let him know that I love him as much as Hamlet loves his father.

To the ends of the earth and back daddy.


  1. i love your excitement about the class, but even more, i love that y'all still say "daddy!" i'll be keeping good thoughts for his speedy recovery, sugar! xoxoxo
    (drop by soon, i promise y'all will LOL!)

  2. There was a time when I could have run my father through with a rapier and left him bleeding out, pleading for mercy. However, time dulls you and you realise that there's very little point in getting angry about anything. You just resign yourself to the fact that you have to make a greater effort to take the moral high ground and pitch your flag there. Despite my best efforts, my father doesn't want to know. Despite me rescuing all his old photos from his merchant navy days and when he first worked on the airlines, the photos my mother hoarded for 30 years and wouldn't relinquish, the ones I rescued from the fire and returned to him on his birthday 2007, despite that he still makes no effort with me.

    But it doesn't matter now because I have my own son and I will treat him a damn sight better...

    All the best stories are about fathers and sons, from Star Wars to Danny: Champion of the World - it is a special bond. Alas, one I've only ever read about and only experiencing the alternate viewpoint now.

  3. I guess I've never found my way into Shakespeare, but have no problem following your insight into it, and through it your relationship and concern for your father. I'm sure your strength will support him on the road to recovery. He's the same age as my Dad and things like this bring that aspect of him sharply into focus.

  4. Wishing your daddy well.

    Seeing a parent weak is never easy.


  5. Sending positive vibes your way, I hope your dad is better soon x

  6. My dad drives me nuts.
    Not sure I can deal with a world without him.
    Hope yours is good soon.

  7. Thanks one and all, much appreciated, means the world to me your kind words and to Darren, thank you for sharing your own personal tale; that would do my head in but I realise I very lucky I am.

    Peace to one and all.


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