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Abstract

In his paper, "Hamlet's 'Globe' and the Self as Performer in England and Japan," Yu Shibuya argues that Hamlet sees his life as a performance. Shibuya presents examples from Tsuneari Fukuda's Japanese translation to suggest that Fukuda makes choices that emphasize the theatrical side of Hamlet's character. If Hamlet perceives himself as an actor, then his definition of theater or an actor is ultimately a definition of himself. Shibuya uses the theme of self-definition to examine Kenneth Branagh's film version, especially the Mousetrap and the "O what a rogue and peasant slave" scenes. By analyzing Branagh's staging and directorial decisions and his recognition that Hamlet is a performer, Shibuya shows how Branagh's directorial decisions complement his abilities as an actor that make this aspect of his Hamlet one of the finest moments in Shakespeare on film.

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