Sunday, March 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: March 2009

Speaking of productions featuring Lisa Gay Hamilton, here we have yet another modernization of Hamlet. Unlike Ethan Hawke's updated telling of the same year, this one retains the formality of the original setting by placing it in some high class digs in what appears to be upstate New York.

Campbell Scott plays Hamlet, Blair Brown plays Gertrude and Roscoe Lee Browne gets to dig into Polonius. Obviously, this being the bard, I could take any number of lines here and they would be sufficient. So I pick one of the better ones and just ask you to imagine Browne's wonderful baritone speaking these lines.
Polonius: This business is well ended. My liege, and madam, to expostulate what majesty should be, what duty is, why day is day, night night, and time is time, were nothing but to waste night, day and time. Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief: your noble son is mad: Mad call I it; for, to define true madness, what is't but to be nothing else but mad? But let that go.

Gertrude: More matter, with less art.

Polonius: Madam, I swear I use no art at all. That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity; And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure; But farewell it, for I will use no art. Mad let us grant him, then: and now remains that we find out the cause of this effect, or rather say, the cause of this defect, for this effect defective comes by cause: Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.

No comments: