Posted by: MrLemonhead
Credits: Directed, produced and filmed by Vincent Conard. A Mr. Lemonhead Production
Cast: Vincent Conard (Hamlet)
No other passage from Shakespeare is so prevalent on YouTube as the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, or so badly treated. The number of them runs into hundreds, and the vast majority are empty of meaning or poetry, of interest more for the earnest intentions with which they have been produced than for the results.
And then, every now and then, you come across a good one. Here American bit part actor Vincent Conard (aka Mr Lemonhead) gives us a rendition in a luxuriantly Southern accent, an angle which might have been taken for comic effect but which instead brings out nuances and resonances which makes one hear the soliloquy anew. The eerie music lingering in the background, the grainy image, and the knife that Hamlet fingers all the while, all add to a video that cleverly plays with our expectations. Interesting too that Hamlet softens as the speech progresses, and even ends up blowing a kiss to Ophelia.