“However, it seems as if it is director Joss Whedon who most enjoyed the inclusion of Agent Coulson in the superhero ensemble due to the fact that the character takes part in some of his favourite scenes (which he wrote). “Coulson is the face of S.H.I.E.L.D in a way that Nick Fury isn’t. Nick Fury stays in the background pulling the strings, while Coulson is the guy in the trenches alongside ‘The Avengers.’ His relationship with Steve Rogers is one of my favorites. There are so many characters in this film with a dry wit, so I wanted to find some other dynamic Coulson could have with Captain America and it hit me, ‘Oh my god, he’s a fan boy!’ Giving him a man crush on Captain America not only lent itself to some of the funniest scenes, but also established the type of relationship they had, which led to the whole trading card run in the scene, which is possibly my favorite thing in the movie.”—
no, really. i mean, obviously, even within canon, hamlet/ophelia and the awful, ruinous double gertrude/hamlet i and gertrude/claudius have so much so much terrible potential. the duality of hamlet and ophelia is fascinating - the contrast of his maybe-faked, maybe-not “antic disposition” and her entirely real, entirely devastating break from reality. they are mirrors within mirrors within mirrors, and you can see, just see, what they might have been like when they were happy. (but there’s enough of a hint that hamlet might never have been normal, too, to be able to question if his “antic disposition” was an inevitability, not a performance.)
gertrude, i feel, is, if not the hero of another story, the protagonist of another story. the problem of hamlet, other than his indecision, is that he doesn’t deal very well with the convergence of outside influence. he crumbles under pressure, (and maybe always crumbled under pressure, because why did they send him to wittenberg?), but that’s what being a queen is, rolling with the punches. maybe she married claudius because she loved him, maybe she loved him and helped him kill hamlet i. maybe she loved her first husband, and thought that claudius might kill her son if she didn’t solidify her position. we don’t know the answers, because it never occurs to hamlet to ask. he’s so wrapped up in his own breakdown, of his own uncertainties of whether there was a murder, that he never asks why there was a murder. he believes the ghost: the crown, but it doesn’t mean we have to.
hamlet/horatio, as i’m sure it is for many people, is my favourite non-canon ship, because horatio is the only person that hamlet trusts. the only one, which, in the context of the play itself, is staggering. the entire point of the play, at its core, is trust: who do i trust is telling me the truth? do i trust myself? have i ever trusted myself? the flipside to this, of course, is that this is also a play about performance: because hamlet thinks he’s performing his antic disposition, whether he is or not, and horatio is the only person he ever drops it in front of. he doesn’t trust his mother, or his girlfriend, or his childhood (or are they?) friends, but he trusts horatio. and he’s right to, because horatio does everything asked of him, with affection and good grace.
then there’s the obvious answer: the oedipal hamlet. because as much as this as a play about trust, and about performance, it is, ultimately, a play about madness, because it is, in fact, the most famous play about madness ever written. i, personally, think oedipal hamlet can be supported by the text; hamlet is obsessed with sexual imagery of his mother and claudius, and he’s unable to murder claudius, unable to push through to that breakdown, but when he challenges his mother in her bedchamber he loses it. and, too, if this is a play about madness, when is the only other time hamlet sees the ghost? yes. exactly. sometimes the question “what was the trigger?” matters even more than “is he insane?”.
and, of course, you could push me into hamlet/laertes, and ophelia/laertes. laertes is the loose cannon of this play, because he’s hamlet’s loose cannon. hamlet does fairly well at deconstructing people before he’s sent to england, (“you would play upon me”, pretty much all of his interactions with polonius), but when he comes back he unravels in the most spectacular manner. claudius takes advantage of this, uses laertes to get to hamlet - which perhaps suggests that there is something there that we never get to see. (much of hamlet is about the things we aren’t ever going to know.) and, then, well, ophelia/laertes? hamlet might think “i lov’d ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum”, but laertes is willing to kill him, so clearly he doesn’t agree with that.
you know, i’m sure at some point i didn’t want to direct this play so much it actually makes me physically ache, but i can’t remember it, so.
“The notion that language creates rather than merely reflects reality holds out the promise to feminists that we can not only diagnose sexism, patriarchy, and women’s “inferiority” as creations rather than natural facts but also use language differently in order to create a new nonsexist reality.”—Kelly Oliver and Marilyn Pearsall”Why Feminists Read Nietzsche” (via saveholden)
“I adore the way fan fiction writers engage with and critique source texts, but manipulating them and breaking their rules. Some of it is straight-up homage, but a lot of [fan fiction] is really aggressive towards the source text. One tends to think of it as written by total fanboys and fangirls as a kind of worshipful act, but a lot of times you’ll read these stories and it’ll be like ‘What if Star Trek had an openly gay character on the bridge?’ And of course the point is that they don’t, and they wouldn’t, because they don’t have the balls, or they are beholden to their advertisers, or whatever. There’s a powerful critique, almost punk-like anger, being expressed there—which I find fascinating and interesting and cool.”—Lev Grossman (via theadventuresofcargline)