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Watch this extract from the production, filmed on stage in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2004.
Hamlet, certain of Claudius' guilt after his reaction to The Mousetrap, confronts his mother. He is revolted by her choice of second husband. But why has she made this decision? Is her marriage to Claudius based on sexual attraction or is it a political convenience, assuring stability to the state and her own personal security? And does she have reason to suspect Claudius in connection with her first husband's death?
Act 3 Scene 4
Having already killed Polonius who was concealed in Gertrude's room, Hamlet then attacks her. He forces her to look at contrasting images of Claudius and Old Hamlet, likening Claudius to an infection in Old Hamlet's ear, and telling his mother that she can't possibly love Claudius.
Hamlet - Toby StephensGertrude - Sian Thomas
Filmed, edited and produced for the RSC by Cornucopia Productions.
Designer Tom Piper explains why there's no bed in this scene, and why every prop has to 'earn its place' on the stage.
In the Closet Scene, Hamlet compares his father to Claudius. Greg Hicks, who plays the Ghost of Old Hamlet, explains the differences, and why Hamlet's so disgusted at his mother's choice of new husband.
Actor Sian Thomas wants to create a Gertrude who we can believe. She explains how she needs to understand what Gertrude's thinking even though Shakespeare hasn't given her many lines.
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