This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet For Today Essay

1809 words - 7 pages

Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 filmic translation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a dramatic telling of the classic story which is as well acted as it is entertaining. Aside from these points, Zeffirelli's (and co-scripter Christopher Devore's) screenplay is an edited, and re-mixed version of the original which has many lines cut, as well as the entire sub plot concerning Fortenbras, completely removed. Franco Zefirelli's private interpretation of Hamlet, although divergent in some ways from Shakespeare's version, still remains a superior rendering, due to the continuity of the screenplay.

 
Zeffirelli's divergence from the original script begins immediately. Rather than opening with the traditional sequence involving the first sighting of the ghost of Hamlet's father, Zeffirelli instead opens with a funeral sequence of his own design. In this scene the director establishes Hamlet's distrust of Claudius as well Claudius' desire to act as a father figure to Hamlet. To fully display this, Zeffirelli plucks these lines from a later scene, "think of us as of a father; for let the world take note you are the most immediate to our throne, And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son Do I impart toward you." (1.2.113-119). These lines show Caudius' attempt at good intentions, while Mel Gibson's (as Hamlet) response shows the distrust the character holds for him. This also sets up the relationship between young Hamlet and Claudius excellently for both the familiar audience as well as the audience inexperienced in Shakespeare. Still the question remains of why Zeffirelli chose to eliminate the opening scene that Shakespeare intended. In Shakespeare's version the opening scene establishes the existence of the ghost, and the bravery and learnedness of Horatio (as he is the one called upon to "speak to it". (1.1.45)), while simultaneously predicating the impending arrival of young Fortenbras. In Zeffirelli's version these are neither established in the opening scene, nor at all. Horatio becomes more of a background character, rather than the well established, strong character found in Shakespeare. The existence of Fortenbras, as well as the entire sub-plot concerning Norway has been similarly omitted. It seems to be Zeffirelli's intent to remove as much diversion as he can from the actual quest of Hamlet, and what he sees as Hamlet's end. Zeffirelli lessens the character of Horatio to force this Hamlet into the stance of a loner as opposed to Shakespeare's Hamlet, who has a strong (if not ever-present) sidekick. Likewise, Zeffirelli removes the Norwegian element so that this subplot cannot interfere with the plight of Hamlet, or with Zeffirelli's version of his ultimate end.

The director's personal interpretation is seen again soon after the opening. Act one, scene two, containing the scene during which Claudius hold's court, commenting on the events which have so recently transpired, has been altered to fit...

Find Another Essay On Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet for Today

Comparing The Presentation Of Two Film Versions Of The Prologue To Romeo And Juliet

3017 words - 12 pages Comparing The Presentation Of Two Film Versions Of The Prologue To Romeo And Juliet I have been scrutinizing Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli's unique styles of interpreting Shakespeare's, late 1590 's, play prologue: Romeo and Juliet. (To be truthful when I first found out I was going to be studying Romeo and Juliet, I thought I was about to pull my hair out! Image having to watch two Shakespeare play prologues, let

ROMEO AND JULIET COMPARATIVE ESSAY

1082 words - 4 pages into modern notions, whilst still employing Shakespearean language. Compared to Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Luhrmann's picture is easier for a teenage audience to understand and relate to because of his modernisations. Despite the passing of four centuries Shakespeare's themes of love, hate, violence, family and mortality remain the same regardless of the setting."Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet

Selective Perception in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1761 words - 7 pages saying goes, paranoia doesn't mean they're not out to get you.  Claudius' behavior during the performance of The Mousetrap (III.ii) may be enough to convince Hamlet and Horatio of his guilt, but the scene certainly need not be read that way.  Indeed, filmed versions of the scene differ widely in interpretation.  Zeffirelli's 1990 version, for example, portrays Claudius as quintessentially guilt-stricken when he begs, "Give me some light" (l.267

The Battle of the Sexes in Zeffirelli's Taming of the Shrew

1200 words - 5 pages accepted male-female dynamic. This view went unchanged for many years and audiences widely accepted Petruchio's “taming” of Katherina as politically correct. By the time of Zeffirelli's depiction of The Taming of the Shrew in 1967, the second wave of the feminist movement was well under way in the United States and women's liberation groups began to spring up all over America. It was also in this year that President Lyndon B Johnson signed

Romeo and Juliet Assessment: Death and Conflict

685 words - 3 pages wide-shot appears between the household’s buildings could give a sense of love ,violence and death furthermore the two household building shows the rivalry of each family and them being ‘fair in dignity’. However in Franco Zeffirelli's, the beginning does not foreshadow anything at all. The narrator reads the sonnet in a soft voice and the music is peaceful and slow. In Franco Zeffirelli's it is very hard to identify each character because

Hamlet, Play and the Movie

628 words - 3 pages whole play is Act I Scene V. The film work of Hamlet orchestrated by the director really focuses on being exactly as the written play by William Shakespeare. The written work of Hamlet and the movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli have many similar scenes. Act I Scene V is one of the most important parts of the play because; the themes of vengeance, madness and family start to develop in the play. The psychological conflict Hamlet has to deal

Shakespeare on the Scene

969 words - 4 pages Shakespeare's writings into a contemporary location, with modern concepts,yet keeps the language of Shakespeare alive. Compared to Franco Zeffirelli's 'Romeo andJuliet,' Luhrmann's picture is easier to understand for a modern audience, and morerelevant to a modern viewer. The 1996 version of the play consequently captures thespirit of Shakespeare's writing: to entertain any audience. Said the director, BazLuhrmann of the film:The idea behind the 'created world' was that it's a made up world composed of 20thcentury icons, and these images are there to clarify what's being said, because once [theviewer understands] it, the power and the beauty of the language [work] its magic.

Hamlet's Fatal Flaw

889 words - 4 pages everything. This is readily apparent and evidence for it can be found in several places. The issue of the ghost’s appearance is extremely disturbing to Hamlet who is still grieving over the loss of his father (Shakespeare 1.2.170-258). Hamlet and Horatio, the figure of wisdom in the play, worry that the ghost could really be an evil spirit sent to tempt or kill Hamlet (Shakespeare 1.4.39-92). In trying to figure everything out Hamlet says that

Staging Hamlet for a Modern Audience

2464 words - 10 pages ;   'What may this mean that thou, dead corpse, again in complete steel, revisits thus the glimpse of the moon, making night hideous'.   In Zeffirelli's film of Hamlet there is mud and rain and mist which could be transported onto the stage simply as mud, water and smoke machines or the gobo lights mentioned earlier could be used for a similar effect.    Though, in using real mud and water, Zeffirelli

Extended Film Review - Baz Lurhmann's Romeo + Juliet

1610 words - 6 pages balcony scene, and the comment it makes on love in both Baz Luhrmann's 1996 appropriation, and Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 appropriation. Zeffirelli uses the scene to illustrate the innocent, naïve and childlike portrayal of Romeo and Juliet's love, and to highlight how quick and rash their love is. The lust and naïve love is what drives Romeo to take risks, "If they do see thee, they will murder thee." Such extreme behaviour dominates

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

948 words - 4 pages production were very near the actual dialogue while the 1990 version with Gibson had several differences. The first scene of Zeffirelli's Hamlet, a wake for Hamlet's father, doesn't exist in Shakespeare: the dialogue has been trimmed from elsewhere in the play and made to work in a different context. This typifies Zeffirelli's approach to the material, which is decidedly non-reverential. He isn't afraid to take liberties with the material, or to

Similar Essays

Comparing The Opening Sections Of Kenneth Branagh's And Franco Zeffirelli's Film Versions Of Hamlet

3846 words - 15 pages Comparing the Opening Sections of Kenneth Branagh's and Franco Zeffirelli's Film Versions of Hamlet So exactly why is it that Hamlet is still so popular with our modern day audiences when it was written for the naïve audiences of the 17th century? Personally I believe this is because Hamlet deals with many fresh issues including corruption, love and the supernatural, which still appeal to contemporary audiences. These

Differences In Zefirelli´S And Branagh´S Hamlet

921 words - 4 pages of the ghost. Zeffirelli's use of imagery is evident when Hamlet expresses raw emotions on seeing the ghost of his father and hearing of the corruption within his family (Hamlet). Branagh uses symbolism to depict the ghost as the statue of old king Hamlet. Hamlet chases the ghost but is somewhat uncertain about the validity of this figure. Branagh's use of the setting and imagery sets the stage for Hamlet's future mental decay. The emotions

Hamlet Video Comparison. This Review Compares The Branagh And Jacobi Versions Of Hamlet

852 words - 3 pages Hamlet Video Comparison Essay"To be or not to be, that is the question" (3,1,56) that the different directors must ask themselves when choosing the design of their play. The tragic play, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, has had many interpretations from the single script. Directors Derek Jacobi and Franco Zeffirelli have both directed the same play, Hamlet, yet the differences in the renditions of the play emphasize different aspects. In the

The Insanity Of Hamlet Can Be Portrayed As An Act Of Will To Revenge His Father's Death. William Shakespeare Captures This Through Madness Vs. Melancholia

1067 words - 4 pages two directors to illustrate these emotions in a suitable way that best portrays Hamlet. "It will be your and the director's responsibility to decide the quantity and quality of personality characteristics necessary for the development of character."(Acting In Person and In Style, Pg 162)Two examples of the different notions that can be portrayed, is that of Franco Zeffirelli's and Laurence Olivier's Hamlet where madness and melancholia compete