|Grigori Kozintsev's Hamlet|
I found myself wondering what Shakespeare thought of Russia, if he thought of Russia at all. Shakespeare's life spanned the 16th and 17th centuries and by then, Moscow was a huge cultural center. It was a principality known to the English as "Muscovy." That land pops up a couple of times in Shakespeare's plays, most notably in Act V, Scene III of Love's Labour's Lost when Rosaline asks another character why he looks so under the weather:
Why look you pale?
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
In searching for Shakespeare/Muscovy links, I ran across this article about the way Soviet Russia viewed Ophelia. Poor Ophelia. Using Grigori Kozintsev's film version of Hamlet as a source, the article deconstructs her "corruption." It's interesting reading.