Something is Rotten Postcard
This is an vectorized version of the original 18" x 24" cut paper collage. Hamlet is from an original line drawing. I designed this as the first of a future deck of Shakespearean playing cards. This piece, though it takes it's symbolism entirely from within Shakespeare's Hamlet, is an emblem of feeling incapable of action, anger, and desire for change in a system that is broken and corrupted.Hamlet's presence on a playing card reflects my love for cards and emblems, but also because of the way the face cards can function as symbols and archetypes. He is not a king here, he is dressed as a jack. The crest in the corners is not a family one, it is symbolic of his own feelings of betrayal. My Hamlet is somewhat anachronistic, in that we see him with sword in hand, holding Yorick's skull, and looking lucid, angry and decisive. While the skull places him in Act V just before the discovery of Ophelia's death, he has more of the character of the his soliloquy from scene 4, where he chides himself for his lack of action and will, saying last "Oh, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!" My Hamlet strives to carry through to action, which in the play he does not. The static presentation of this piece, however leaves him frozen in time, stuck with the desire to act, but still unable to move. Yorick's skull is important as a symbol, as he was the King's jester. The jester is often the figure who is allowed to speak truth via mockery or jokes about an authority figure without fear of reproach. His distinct absence in this play is telling. There is no one but Hamlet who can speak out against Claudius. The skull symbolizes death, but also change, and Hamlet wields it more so than looking at it in remembrance.