This feels like the act where everyone begins to really spy on each other. Polonius introduces this when he sends Reynaldo to secretly check up on Laertes through lying about his character to others in France. Thus, he says, "your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth." So, I have a maze that has many different beginnings, but no clear way to the end, as well as things stacking up, almost reaching a boiling point.
For this act, I kept thinking about people being coerced or cornered. Hamlet tries to "catch the conscience of the king" with his play within a play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are accused of trying to "play" Hamlet as they keep questioning him and his motives (since they are in the service of Claudius), and Hamlet is summoned to Gertrude's chambers so that Polonius can spy on him and find out what is going on. So, in my first work, I have visualized different ways of feeling cornered, surrounded, or coerced like the characters in Hamlet.
I wanted to focus a little more on the scene in Gertrude's bedchamber as well, so I drew what I think is the tense moment before Hamlet figures out that Polonius is behind the arras. Polonius is hiding and thinks he is safely spying, but Hamlet is a bit out of control. I think this described by Hamlet's small soliloquy in the previous scene when he says, "tis now the very witching time of night...my thoughts be bloody."
Here I took a transfer drawing that I did to represent Ophelia and used watercolor to paint the different flowers that she gives out when she goes mad. I wanted to capture the feeling of introspective, tragic madness that I think Ophelia has. She is not going crazy like Hamlet, but is really a tragic loss in this play. She says as she is giving out her flowers:
"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts...There's fennel for you, and
columbines. There's rue for you, and here's some for me. Me may call it herb of grace on Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference! There's a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died..."
I guess I really feel bad for the tragic death of Ophelia, but I really liked when Gertrude says, "Sweets for the sweet," and throws flowers in her grave. So, I did a play on that and not only represented a flower going to the dead, but also a modern-day sweet.
The last act is definitely the bloody one. Not only is there blood from Hamlet and Laertes wounds, but I always picture the drink blood red as well. So, red is flying in the last scene of Hamlet. I wanted to represent both the ways that those left died, and I realized that Hamlet not only got stabbed by the poisoned sword, but asked Horatio for the cup as well, so as to speed up his already mortal fate. I like the line that Hamlet says right before he dies: "I die, Horatio, the potent poison quite o'ercrows my spirit!" And thus, Hamlet ends.