Revolution as Hamlet?

Nov 05, 2013 00:34

I was twiddling around with the idea of a wallpaper the other day (I start with an idea and end up somewhere completely different, tailored to my capabilities). What started as - 'wonder if I can make this look like old paper print' ended up as this:

I actually rather like it - but then I adore Shakespeare's tragedies - however, it occurred to me that you could actually map Revolution rather neatly over Hamlet.It's not perfect, but there are enough familiar story elements and reflected narrative elements to make the game fun. So I made a photoset:

Come on! The Revolution characters don't make a bad hand of being Shakespearean do they?

Ben: Old Hamlet.

Perhaps Miles didn't want his brother dead in this universe, but the symbolism of using his weapon - the militia - as the instrument of Ben's death does tie the murder to him. He has appeared to Charlie in memory and in a spectral hallucination as she hung on the brink of death. Worrying because - well, he's dead. Things aren't going to get much worse for him.

Rachel: Gertrude
Like Gertrude, the widow of king and wife of the next, Rachel has a relationship with two brothers. She could also be argued to have moved on to an 'o'erhasty marriage' - or unconsummated state of UST - with Miles after Ben's death. As motivation for Hamlet's troubled mind, this only works technically - Rachel had literally not laid eyes on her husband for 7 years - but there is a resonance there. She does have a troubled relationship with her child - who suspects her honesty and intentions, even as Rachel seems to be turning her best efforts to help Charlie.

Worrying because she ends up dead, drinking the poisoned chalice meant for her child and prepared by her husband. Miles is unlikely to try and poison Charlie, but a poisoned chalice can refer to any apparent gift that will sour in the mouth. So perhaps he gives Charlie military responsibility, or a particular job to do, and fearing the implications for her daughter Rachel intervenes and seals her fate.

Miles: Claudius
His actions - albeit unwittingly - led to his brother's death and freed his wife from any societal obligation not to be with Miles. He also has a quasi-parental role with Charlie that teeters precariously over the precipice of past lies and current silence. If Charlie finds out that Miles is the one who captured her mother, will she turn on him? Miles also shares Claudius' open avowal and awareness of his sins, albeit with more genuine regret.

Worrying because he loses everything and gets killed by Hamlet.

Charlie: Hamlet
The hero of the piece, as much as a tragedy can have a hero. Daughter of a murdered father, sister of a murdered brother and niece to a retired totalitarian dictator. Determined on murder as an act of revenge - on Monroe instead of Miles, although if she learns the whole truth that could change - but morally unsuited to assassination. Despite their desperate need for loyal company and sane advice, Charlie does have a habit of pushing away as many people as she draws close.

Worrying because...well, it's a tragedy, all's well that ends....oh, right, nothing's well then?

Bass: Ophelia
I did debate making Jason Ophelia, what with his current temporary bout of drug-induced wobbly vision (I am mean, but I watched Once Upon A Time and one more wavering fish eye lens will be the death of me) but Bass seemed the better choice. The character of Ophelia is associated with madness, regret (through use of the herb rue) and suicide - all of which Bass has toyed with. His relationship with Charlie isn't romantic in-canon (although I still sail the Charm Ship), but some interpretations of the role involve Hamlet taking Ophelia's virginity. Recast that idea as 'taking something intangible and precious' and we could have it be his relationship with Miles. If he tells Charlie what Miles did to Rachel and that costs him Miles' friendship - that could be seen as something precious. Or - my preferred interpretation - Charlie takes away her tentative tolerance for him,  turning her back on him too.

Worrying because Ophelia loses her mind and commits suicide.

Neville: Polonius
A man whose love for his children is overshadowed by his personal ambition and desire for social advancement. He uses spies frequently and changes sides with the wind (presumably loyal to Old Hamlet and now currying favour with Claudius). Sound anything like Neville? Polonius' plots cost him his children, just as Neville's have cost him his wife and son. His connection to Bass isn't father and son, but there is a bond there and Neville could be seen as 'stepping between' Bass and the thing he wants (although at that point it would either be Miles or the pendant, not Charlie) when he accidentally kills Ben instead of catching him.

Worrying because he dies, but not before he contributes to Ophelia's woeful decline.

Jason: Rosencrantz
Not quite a childhood friend of Charlie's, but he did get to know her early on in the 'play'. At that point he spied on her for his father, deceiving her as to his attentions. Like Hamlet, Charlie eventually sees through him and - in Clue - rejects his overtures of friendship/trust. He is eventually sent far away - Charlie didn't abandon him, but I assume the option to go with him was made - where he might die at the hands of a foreign government.

Worrying because they die.

Danny: Horatio
I considered Nora for this, but eventually went with Danny. It's ironic since they died early on - relatively speaking - while he is the only character to survive to the end. He is also willing to die, although Hamlet begs him not to and, in the play, he listens. Horatio is also the only character to be in every scene, mirroring the fact that Danny's physical absence in the first series was countered by the everpresent sense of him around the other characters.

Worrying because he's already dead, things can't get much better/

Agree? Disagree? Think I have too much time on my hands?

!season: two, (!): david lyons, (!): tracy spiridakos, (fw): manip, (!): tim guinee, (!): billy burke, (fw): essay/meta, (!): jd pardo, (!): elizabeth mitchell, !season: one

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