Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Visual Thinking

So I finally broke out and did some visual thinking with act 1 of Hamlet. I had a hard time getting into it, firstly taking notes on my thoughts and visual images of things. But then I started to see actual images that I could create and I decided to put them on paper.

The first thought I had was of Hamlet being obedient and loving to his mother. It sounded very hypocritical that he was doing it to get away from his uncle's control. But isn't his mother kind of driven by her lust for Hamlet's uncle? So isn't she controlled a little bit by Claudius? So the image I thought of was someone walking a dog (in this case a child) and that person also being on a leash and being lead/controlled by the biggest person.

Next I decided to put out Hamlet. I got the ideas straight from the text:
"nighted color" and "inky cloak" and "solemn black".

The last one I did was a representation of the ghost of Hamlet the former King. "My hour is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames Must render up myself." And so comes the clock in the midst of fire. he also mentions later on a river from the underworld (Lethe) thus the penciled in river in the background that you can barely see. I felt like it went along nicely with the theme of the ghost being dead and going to the underworld.

From this first reading of act 1 and thinking visually about themes I came up with a couple themes that may exist through the whole play that may be interesting to look into. First of all the theme of reality versus what is in your head. Hamlet seems to have a lot going on in his head. How much of it is real? How much is self-created anxiety? Another theme is control. Who is really in control? Does anyone have control or is the world in the hands of fate? (since fate in mentioned in the first act).


  1. I really like the inky black cloak one. It took me a few seconds to see it. Very clever

  2. I like how the red pops out from behind, making it look eerie!

  3. I think your questions would be awesome for some thought provoking questions for a discussion portion of a lesson. Coming up with clear and thought provoking questions is you should totally use those in your lesson plan.

    I also like your idea of fate. That is something that Shakespeare deals with a lot in his plays, so I think it is super important. Maybe you could use that last question to spur your lesson?

  4. Thanks! Cassandra, that is a great idea with the questions, I think I'll do that. I always seem to be able to find lots of questions, but answering that's the hard part.