Comparing Frances Zefferilli’s Hamlet and Shakespeare’s Hamlet
I believe Frances Zefferilli’s version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, made in 1990, is one of the best versions of the play to be put onto screen. The film, starring Mel Gibson as Hamlet, and Glen Close as Queen Gertrude, takes a different look to the play. Zefferilli explores the physiological stability of Hamlet very well, especially in Act 3, Scene 4. My interpretation of that scene in the text was different to the one given in the movie.
After reading the scene, I had the notion that Hamlet was already quite confused - he had just come out of a scene where he could have killed the king, but his blunted purpose gets in the way. The killing of Polonius in the text gave me the idea that Macbeth was anxious to find out who he had killed, “Is it the king?” When he finds out that it was Polonius he doesn’t seem too put off by it. He just continues on. He isn’t put off because he had such high hopes that it would be the king, so instead of being sad about the murder of his trusted councillor, he is merely disappointed that it had to be Polonius calling for help instead of the king.
This part of the scene is presented a bit differently in the movie. When Hamlet enters, you can really tell that he has gone mad. He is sad one minute, the next minute he’ll give out an almighty roar. Zefferilli has used the scenes...