Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India supported the presentation of Shakespeare’s play `Hamlet’ at Abhinav Theatre, here this evening.
A remarkable production of ‘Samooh Theatre’ was directed by Ravindra Sharma. Prof Ashok Aima, Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Jammu, who is also the member of the general body of Indian Council for Cultural Relations was the chief guest on the occasion.
Lauding the role of ICCR Jammu, Prof Aima dwelt in detail about the impact ICCR has created in the region through the presentation of International performances. He assured all required help to ICCR in the furtherance of its objectives and in creating this region a hub of world cultural attractions.
Earlier, the Regional Director of ICCR, J&K, Balwant Thakur informed the audiences about the objectives of ICCR in promoting the local talent in the larger interest of projecting them at international level. He informed that in the last five years with eighty major events, ICCR established the city of Jammu as an international destination of vibrant cultural happenings. He said during this period, ten international groups visited Jammu.
The major attraction of the day was the presentation of ‘Hamlet. The story begins from the Prince Hamlet is having been summoned home to Denmark from school in Germany to attend his father’s funeral, he is shocked to find his mother Gertrude already remarried. The queen has wed Hamlet’s uncle Claudius the dead king’s brother. To Hamlet, the marriage is “foul incest.” Worse still, Claudius has had himself crowned King despite the fact that Hamlet was his father’s heir to the throne. Hamlet suspects foul play. When his father’s ghost visits the castle, Hamlet’s suspicions are confirmed. The Ghost complains that he is unable to rest in peace because he was murdered. He entreats Hamlet to avenge his death, but to spare Gertrude, to let Heaven decide her fate.
Hamlet vows to affect madness – puts “an antic disposition on” – to wear a mask that will enable him to observe the interactions in the castle, but finds himself more confused than ever. In his persistent confusion, he questions the Ghost’s trustworthiness. What if the Ghost is not a true spirit. In order to test the Ghost’s sincerity, Hamlet enlists the help of a troupe of players who perform a play called The Murder of Gonzagoto which Hamlet has added scenes that recreate the murder the Ghost described. Hamlet calls the revised play The Mousetrap, and the ploy proves a success.
As Hamlet had hoped, Claudius’ reaction to the staged murder reveals the King to be conscience-stricken. Claudius leaves the room because he cannot breathe, and his vision is dimmed for want of light. Convinced now that Claudius is a villain, Hamlet resolves to kill him. But, as Hamlet observes, “conscience doth make cowards of us all.” In his continued reluctance to dispatch Claudius, Hamlet actually causes six ancillary deaths. The first death belongs to Polonius whom Hamlet stabs through a wall hanging as the old man spies on Hamlet and Gertrude in the Queen’s private chamber. Claudius punishes Hamlet for Polonius’ death by exiling him to England. Ophelia distraught over her father’s death and Hamlet’s behavior, drowns. Unencumbered by words, Laertes plots with Claudius to kill Hamlet. In the midst of the sword fight, however, Laertes drops his poisoned sword. Hamlet retrieves the sword and cuts Laertes. The lethal poison kills Laertes. Before he dies, Laertes tells Hamlet that because Hamlet has already been cut with the same sword, he too will shortly die. Horatio diverts Hamlet’s attention from Laertes for a moment by pointing out that “The Queen falls. Gertrude, believing that Hamlet’s hitting Laertes means her son is winning the fencing match, has drunk a toast to her son from the poisoned cup Claudius had intended for Hamlet. The Queen dies. As Laertes lies dying, he confesses to Hamlet his part in the plot and explains that Gertrude’s death lies on Claudius’ head. Finally enraged, Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned sword and then pours the last of the poisoned wine down the King’s throat. With his last breath, Hamlet releases himself from the prison of his words: ” The rest is silence.”