Modern Interpretations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

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Marine (Maka) Vasadze


The problems of Shakespeare’s heroes do not belong to the distant past. They always live in the human psyche and in the form of their behavior. The function of the theater is to revive these dramas, which implies their transfer and refl ection in a familiar national, political or social context. Recently, Georgian viewers have seen many interesting interpretations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Among them I shall distinguish four diff erent concepts of Hamlet by two Lithuanian and two Georgian world famous directors – Nekrošius, Koršunovas, Sturua and Tsuladze.

In every performance that I have seen, the ghost was given a different meaning. It is because of the ghost that the tragedy breaks out in the play. Robert Sturua’s ghost was a monster-like creature, Nekrošius’ Hamlet’s father was a tragic creature, who
urges his son to revenge, and in the fi nale, when he realizes that he has sacrifi ced his son for the sake of revenge, he bemoans over his body with a heartbreaking howl. Koršunovas ghost of the father represents the “actor” who is the face of his own killer
- Claudius. According to Levan Tsuladze’s concept, Akaki Khidasheli’s ghost is an arrogant tyrant who destroys everyone and everything and does not hesitate to sacrifice his own son for revenge.

Sturua’s Hamlet surrendered to his fate. His behavior, his attitude towards evil and treachery existing in the world seemed strange. He no longer asks why the cursed fate allotted him to
set the broken joint, it was an inevitable fact, so he accepted it. In Nekrošius’ Hamlet love is sacrifi ced for revenge, which Hamlet is forced to take. In the foreground there is love rather than revenge. First of all, love for the characters that the director
sculpts, and then Hamlet’s love for others ... Oskaras Koršunovas calls Hamlet a theatrical “mousetrap”, a “trap”, that one of the main characters Hamlet uses not only to capture the king’s conscience, but also to seize his own “illusions”. According to Levan Tsuladze’s concept, Hamlet is sometimes a funny young man, sometimes a tender lover, sometimes a vengeful person, and sometimes a person “wounded in the brain”, driven to insanity by watching the dirty world.

Robert Sturua, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Oskaras Koršunovas, Levan Tsuladze have staged peculiar, interesting, diff erently seen performances of Hamlet in the 21st century.

Shakespeare Hamlet Sturua Nekrošius Koršunovas Tsuladze Interpretation Modern
Published: Dec 20, 2021

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Theater Studies