Monday, April 5, 2010

Act I Scene 3 - Classics Illustrated

The Original
Because the wedding banquet was completely cut from the original Classics Illustrated, Scene 3 is where we meet the Polonius family for the first time, and in only two short panels:As you can see, narration covers the ground we missed, explaining the details of Laertes' trip as well as the gist of both parts of the scene. There is never very much to these, because the comic wants to get to the Ghost as quick as possible (being aimed at young boys), but the way the dialog is cut is interesting. Polonius only has time/room for one piece of advice before the classic "To thine own self" line. The adaptation has chosen "Give thy thoughts no tongue, not any unproportion'd thought his act", probably the most ironic in the context of "To thine own self". A judicious choice that highlights Polonius' harebrained hypocrisy.

The Berkley version
Mandrake gives the scene an entire page, but puts the focus on Polonius' talk with Ophelia rather than his advice to Laertes. The scene starts with "To thine own self" and quickly sends Laertes away. This removes some of Polonius' tediousness (for time/space), though the character trait will make its return in due course. A scene to be worked through, in this case, with no revelations of interest.

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