Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eliwood's acting sorta . . . . "Hamlety."

Depression? Check. Parent recently deceased? Check. Propping up a facade? Check. Isolated? Check. Talking to himself for long period of time as a form of emotional relief? Check. Eliwood's acting sorta . . . "Hamlety" in Elibian Nights.

Now he just needs to recite the "to be, or not to be" soliloquy and he's got the part!

For those of you who don't know, Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare's four "great tragedies." Hamlet's father is slain by his uncle, who uses the death to marry his mother and seize the throne. Hamlet is deeply depressed by the death of his father and his mother's acceptance of the uncle's marriage. The young prince's depression is akin to Eliwood's, whose depression is triggered by the death of his mother.

Indeed, at the time of the extensive Tale 1 rewrites I had just read Hamlet for the first time, the Shakespearean prince was indeed a major point of reference for writing a mopey/depressed Eliwood. Eliwood is isolated from his friends a wife and pretends to be fine when confronted about his behavior. Hamlet similarly isolates himself from the surrounding characters, including his lover Ophelia.
What's really Shakespearean about EN!Eliwood, though, is the "soliloquy thing." The soliloquy is a great storytelling mechanic; a character, left along on-stage, will share what's really going on inside his/her head with the audience. Eliwood gives two soliloquies in the first tale, one at the beginning and one at the end. Hamlet, as a Shakespearean lead, gives more major soliloquies than any other lead. This is not only because Hamlet is just naturally an insightful guy, but because of the extent of the facade Hamlet puts up. The soliloquy allows us to see what's really going from the character's unrestrained perspective. Eliwood's first soliloquy functions much in the same way as Hamlet's, letting the audience in on what's really going on with Eliwood whilst Ninian, Marcus, and Natalie attempt to figure out Eliwood's behavior.

Sorta interesting to see the source for Eliwood's character . . . . right? At least, I hope it is.

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