Hamlet

How All Deletions Do Inform Against Me: A Look at Hamlet's Psychological Transformation in His Final Soliloquy

Though the identity of the "editor" responsible for deleting Hamlet's final soliloquy from the 1623 Folio edition of Hamlet may be lost to history, the possible reasons for his omission of the Quarto's fifty-eight lines are as relevant and accessible to the present day as a membership card at Kim's video rental. The question posed by an editor in 1623 - to delete or not to delete - is echoed by contemporary film directors. In a 1998 interview for Cineaste magazine Kenneth Branagh defended his film's interpretation of the scene from criticism that it was artistically overdone:

"I felt that it was an epic moment in a play where that particular beat, if it remains in the production, is somehow undervalued. It seemed to me that, in the wake of having killed for the first time, mistakenly, and with us brought in that speech through a sort of summing up of Hamlet's understanding of his predicament as he perceived it at that time, and given where he was and what he was seeing, that it was a huge moment, and so I wanted from Patrick a huge, stirring anthem."

In addition to amplifying the scene with sweeping crescendos and flamboyant cinematography wherein the camera zooms out to reveal a tiny...

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