DK - Insane or not insane? on the culpability of Hamlet: the mock trial

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by wfgodot, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Yes, chances are, we've most of us encountered the play at one time in our lives, some of us sitting in desks or at tables on one side of the podium, others merrily pontificating about Shakespeare's brilliance on the other. .

    The mock trial of Hamlet, Prince of Demark, the "brainchild of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy," has been staged twice, once in 2007 and the newer version quite recently.
    I think we all recognize the tendency, when a court hearing is held to discuss the possible mental illness of a defendant at the time of his or her crime, or on the rare occasions when an insanity defense is used, to fly up in arms and to feel that the defendant is, well, faking the whole thing, in order to escape punishment.
    In the end, following stirring closing arguments, the jury - as it had in 2007 - found itself deadlocked, 10-2 for conviction in the most recent trial; in 2007, the tally was split evenly at 6-6.

    Washington Post article about the 2007 trial:

    Is He to Be Guilty, Or Not to Be Guilty?

    Thoughts on the play itself, or, more importantly, on the issues it raises?
     
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  3. goldielox

    goldielox New Member

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    Oh what a good topic. Hamlet was always my favourite WS play.

    It's a long time since I last read it or saw it though so my memory is sketchy but I could never decide whether the king really did murder his father to get the crown then have it in for Hamlet, or whether Hamlet had a very unhealthy love for his mother, generally made an almighty pest of himself and king just hated his guts.

    Either way, I think in modern day, talking to his friend's skull at nght in a graveyard and driving his girlfriend to suicide (albeit she was a whining clingy pain in the ...) wouldn't go down too well with the media or in court
     
  4. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    I'm assuming that, in the mock trials, participants had access to the full text of the play; however, it is much more interesting to assume that Hamlet's private thoughts - the soliloquies - would, in a court of law, be deemed protected speech. But what if he'd spoken them to another, over his cell phone, and the conversation was hacked, and the public and thus the trial jury had access to his private thoughts?

    Good piece here in the Guardian from Charlie Brooker about the topic.
     
  5. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    When I saw the thread title, I thought it was asking if *I* was sane or insane, LOL! We don't need to be debating that! :crazy:
     
  6. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    LOLOL. DK = Denmark, in no way a reference to the quite sane Dark Knight!
     
  7. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    *whew* For a second I thought you were finally on to me, lol! :innocent:
     

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