Comparing Different Versions Of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
I am going to compare different versions of Shakespeare's Twelfth
Night. There have been many cinematic and theatre adaptations of
Twelfth Night through out the years, but I am going to just compare
two. A performance of it I went to see at the Globe theatre in London,
and the 1999 film version starring Helena Bonham Carter.
The theatre version was far more authentic in its dramatisation. They
performed it exactly how it might have been performed in Shakespeare's
time, even performing it in a reproduction of the theatre Shakespeare
used for some of his performances. The fact that they only use men
gives it a less realistic feeling, but does give you more of an idea
of how it might have been performed for the first time. The costumes
are even made in the same way and from the same fabrics that were used
back then. Also, there are no microphones or bright lights to light up
the actors, like there are nowadays.
The cinematic version looks more realistic, but is probably very
different to how it would have been performed originally. The female
characters are played by women, and the male characters by men.
Because they can use lighting effects and different camera angles, we
are able to see more as the characters might see. Not just be sitting
back and seeing all the action from only one angle, which is what we
do when we watch a theatre version of any play.
Something that isn't very easy to compare, is the attractiveness of
the different characters in the different productions, as one
production uses only men. But, in the film version, the four main
characters are all quite attractive, with Olivia probably being the
most attractive. But in the stage version, Olivia is portrayed as
quite a solem and unattractive character. A far more comic character,
not only because it's a man walking about in a dress. Her comedy is
less subtle, and she portrays the character Olivia as an almost
foolish like character, even when she's acting serious parts. In fact
the stage version is much less serious, and far more obviously comic.
Nearly all of the characters are funny in some way, unlike the film
version where the characters seem to be acting more of a drama with
some comedy in it, rather than a full blown comedy.
Another good example of a character portrayed differently, is
Malvolio. In the film he is very serious, and although others make fun
of him because of this, he is not a funny character in himself. He
never does anything by himself to make us laugh, except when he comes
prancing out with yellow stockings, cross-gartered. He even looks
happy to be wearing these, because its what he thinks Olivia wants. In
the stage version he is a little bit sillier, and sometimes his
actions, and the way he does things make him...