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Power Lines

January 30, 2012

Power lines carry electricity.  The power emanates from a variety of sources–like coal, water or the sun.  This energy can travel in small or large amounts–small household wires or large interstate cables.

The same is true for lines in a play;  take Hamlet, for example.  I sense a set of power lines when Hamlet answers his mother about grieving for his father.  If “all that lives must die,” she asks, “Why seems it so particular with thee?” (1.2.72-5)  His reply ripples with energy.

When you look back at Act One of the play, which 10-15 lines emit significant energy?  What kind of power do they carry?  From what source(s) does this energy come?  How would you deliver those lines to show this power and its source(s)?  For example, where would you pause, accelerate or slow down?   Which words or phrases would you stress over the others?  If you were to memorize the lines, what emotions or organization in the lines would you use?  Finally, how do your answers to these and similar questions inform your overall interpretation of the play so far?  (What’s the play primarily about?  What does it mean to you?)

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From → connections, Hamlet

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