Te Ghost of Hamlet’s Father
tells the prince how he met
his death:
I am thy father’s spirit.
If thou didst ever thy
dear father love –
Revenge his foul and
most unnatural murder.

To be or not to be

For many years students and teachers of Bavarian schools have been offered several opportunities of going to a number of excellent theatre performances directed by the American Drama Group at the Amerikahaus in Munich.
Among those performances there are a couple of plays featuring magnificent actresses and actors. Last year we went to the Amerikahaus in Munich together with 12 G / FOS Pfennigparade to watch „A Midsummer Night’s Dream“ by William Shakespeare. In our lessons we were dealing with some typical aspects and different interpretation concepts of Shakespearean theatre.
The respective main characters of old tragedies act according to the medieval principles and role-expectations of taking revenge on the murderer – a life for a life – just to get the world (and its wheel of fortune and fate) into balance and order again. Many traditional heroes of early Elizabethan Renaissance Drama and Tragedy act according to those Elizabethan rules and values.

Hamlet’s To Be Or Not To Be focuses on a new period of thinking, but in the end his emotions clinging to old traditions turn out to be stronger than his progressive ratio: He kills enemies as well.

In his last play, The Tempest, Shakespeare wants the main character Prospero not to kill enemies but to take them to a psychological hell through which they are offered possibilities and chances of rescuing themselves from getting doomed forever.

Macbeth, a weak character and personality structure, driven by his unscrupulous and most ambitious wife and the witches‘ lucrative prophecies, becomes victim of a false doctrine:
By doing away violently one enemy after the other, he is anything else but consolidating his bloody throne of a miserable, mean and cruel ruler.Positive values like harmony, joy, happiness and love are more and more becoming unreachable to him, he just provokes the rebellion of upright heroes who did not become victims of his cruelties.

Shakespeare’s comedies, in the thirtees of the last century often directed and performed a la Ohnsorg, Komödienstadel, in critical interpreting concepts of modern theatre are concerted as potential tragedies, they tend to show the alter ego of characters in often more than just astonishing forms of psychological processes.

Walter Leder