This essay discusses the performances of Hamlet by the Japanese director, NINAGAWA Yukio. Ninagawa has directed this tragedy six times, and among his Shakespearean productions, Hamlet is his most frequent. Each production was a turning point in his history as a director. Now he is 73 years old, and through his own experiences he has changed the theme and direction on Hamlet. However, his direction in 2003 was most significant.
At first this essay will briefly review the history of Ninagawa's five Hamlets and reexamine each performance. Then the 2003 Hamlet, which is the newest direction and most controversial performance among Ninagawa's Hamlet, will be investigated associating the direction with the text and the criticisms. From the view point of thanatology, this essay will discuss the depictions of Hamlet and Fortinbras. Thirdly, Ninagawa's consideration about his own age and senescence will be presented and its association with his direction will be pointed out. Finally, this essay will make clear his present state in his own career as a director.
Shakespeare the Year Tenpô 12 by INOUE Hisashi (1934-2010) was first staged in 1974. The play attracted attention because of the novel idea of using all of Shakespeare's works in the script, but the evaluation of the premiere was low and the author himself declared the play a failure. However, in 2005, the drama was revised by INOUE himself and directed by NINAGAWA Yukio, and this performance gave Shakespeare the Year Tenpô 12 the opportunity of reappraisal.
Usually, criticism on Shakespeare the Year Tenpô 12 is focused on the points of Shakespearean parody. However, though scholars point out the necessity for different interpretations of the play, no concrete thesis of evaluation has been published to date.
In this paper, I aim at showing the possibility of a new reading and comprehension from the viewpoint of the sexuality in this drama. The transformation of the sex scenes in Shakespeare the Year Tenpô 12 corresponds with the life of the protagonist Sado no Miyoji and the state of affairs at the location where the plot enfolds, the postal station of Kiyotaki on the road towards Narita. Thus it can be considered that the sexuality forms the base of the theatrical world in this drama.
First, I pay attention to the love scenes as sexual representation and consider their part in the plot. Further, I will analyze the murder scenes and finally conclude by clarifying the process where the sexuality moves from the realm of the living to the land of the dead by explaining the relationship between the love scenes and the murder scenes.