I know the syllabus says Hamlet and/or The Fifteen-Minute Hamlet, but not for you, dear honors students. Please read them both, as a favor to me. You might think about getting together in small groups to read through the Stoppard play, as it will be much funnier and more illuminating when read out loud than when hunched over the pages in your dorm room.
We talked about dramatic structure today, and tried to set up a running comparison between the three plays we’ve read to date. What I’d like you to try in your blog this week is to compare these two plays with one of your choosing (Trifles, The Laramie Project, or Oedipus Rex) in order to show the way the plays use their structure in order to create distinctive meanings.
Compare the three plays in terms of any and all of the following: characterization (in other words, how do we discover things about each of the characters?), setting and shifts of setting, suggested use of theatrical space, understanding of time and its passage, central conflict, use of humor and other modes of manipulating emotion, or categories that you can create.
Finally, what is the value for you in comparing these two plays, disconnected in time? Do they, in dialogue with each other, take on a new significance?