Shakespeare in Virtual Reality

PLEASE READ THROUGHLY Specifications:  2 pages (500 words); double- spaced; 12 pt Times New Roman Font; 1-inch margins; INCLUDES A TITLE. Include word count below the essay and Works Cited page in MLA format (see Purdue OWL for more information). Submission Instructions:  .doc or .docx format; label document with “FirstNameLastNameVREssay”; submit your paper as an attachment to the designated Blackboard submission box labeled “Shakespeare in VR Essay”. About the assignment:  For this assignment, students will re-experience Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, Hamlet, through engagement with the Virtual Reality (VR) experience, “Thy Father’s Spirit” (Hamlet 360), a feature-length (1 hour) adaptation of the play by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, produced with Sensorium, Chronotope and Google Daydream technologies. Instead of simply putting you on stage, Hamlet 360 actually casts the viewer as a character, the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father. Students will review their experience of the play while occupying the role of the ghost. Writing Prompt:  How does Hamlet 360 develop the Shakespearean theme of “all the world’s a stage,” or the argument that we are all actors playing roles in society? Does the viewer’s playing the part of the ghost make Hamlet feel closer to the audience or more distant from the audience? In other words, is Hamlet still the main character of the play, or has the ghost stolen the show? When the ghost is present onstage at all times, does the ghost take on more agency or control over the plot events? To frame your response, pick specific elements from this VR production and compare them to the original play, referring to specific lines and speeches, and directly quoting the play. Hint: This prompt ultimately concerns the characterization of Hamlet.  Note how the actor portraying Hamlet interprets the character. Focus on key monologues or soliloquys, especially those analyzed in the course materials, noting specific aspects of the actor’s delivery. For example: How does Hamlet react to his encounter with the ghost? Is he terrified, disappointed, angry, mournful, excited? When he says that he will “wipe away all trivial fond records” (1.5.106) from his memory and pursue revenge by his father’s “commandment” (109), is this a decision that he takes lightly? Does the prospect of revenge (murder) excite or frighten Hamlet, or is he feeling something else altogether? How do you know? In your discussion, defend your interpretation by pointing specific choices (e.g., “the actor pauses at this word”; “he appears to be crying”; “he looks down when he says X, which suggests that he is ashamed”; “the actor jumps up suddenly, as if this thought moves him action”). Describe specific gestures, the tone of his voice, his delivery of specific words, etc. Refer to specific lines in the original play in your answer. Format:    Roughly 500 words; double- spaced;  12 pt. Times New Roman;  1-inch margins; Includes title and word count; Submitted by posted deadline Argument:    Responds to all questions posed in the selected writing prompt;  response is organized in the form of an essay, not a Q&A discussion;  essay demonstrates understanding of the play;  author defends claims with evidence from the text;  author employs appropriate in-text citations;  essay includes original thesis statement that relates directly to the claims made throughout the essay;  essay demonstrates an understanding of the nuances of Shakespearean thought (avoids outlandish claims; qualifies constructive criticism);  author avoids simplistic biographical readings or unsubstantiated claims.) Quotations/Citations: Incorporates sources (as needed) in a logical manner;  incorporation of sources is coherent and enriches rather than forestalls the discussion;  includes in-text citations and a works cited page in MLA format; paper is free from plagiarism Note: Your works cited page should have at least two sources: Hamlet 360 and the play, Hamlet (Folger Edition) Introduction and Conclusion: Introduction announces the topic of the essay and includes a clearly articulated thesis statement;  conclusion rehearses the major claims of the essay;  conclusion does not merely restate ideas, but rather reflects on the stakes of the paper YOUTUBE PLAY TO BE WATCH: HAMLET 360

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