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Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

948 words - 4 pages

Hamlet Introduction Hamlet is one of the most popular plays of Shakespeare. It has been filmed in a variety of ways. When filming Shakespeare’s plays there is some autonomy acquired by the producers that are taken for either artistic benefit or to keep it shorter. These liberties are up to the director’s interpretation of Hamlet. The director’s interpretations make each Hamlet production different. In the Mel Gibson production they add a lot to the dialogue especially in the beginning. The film begins at the funeral of King Hamlet rather than on the watch with Marcellus and Bernardo. The Mel Gibson version also takes a lot of dialogue out of Hamlet including the whole idea of Fortinbras. He is not in the 1990 production so that it is shorter. As for the 1964 version where Anthony Hopkins plays Claudius, the dialogue is almost exactly the way Shakespeare wrote it. The 1948 and the 1964 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 eliminate descriptive exposition in favour of showing us the actual events. The result is perhaps the most accessible filmed version of the play: this is, after all, the version of Hamlet that the Alicia Silverstone character in Clueless could quote. Body Mel Gibson’s played the insane part of Hamlet well too. His face and understanding of the text made it seem more realistic than when I read it (Berman, 1965). The Hamlet in the 1964 production was plain; he did not have any uniqueness but did play the part well. All three Poloniuses in these productions played well as they supported the role of the king. The Polonius in the Gibson version though did an extremely good performance. His pronunciation of the text and his facial expression as well as his body language was absolutely marvelous. By far Glenn Close played the best queen she played the innocent part well. She was playful at the beginning and her character degenerated to the sad ending. She did everything right; the facial expressions, the body language, the text; she did it all well. The casts of all the films were great. The cast of Gibson was grand and Olivier’s cast was good as well, but the cast in which Anthony Hopkins played in 1964 was the best. They fit together well and complimented each other. The character portrayal in Gibson’s version was fun. The extent to which this accessibility is a good thing is a matter of taste. There's a lot to be said for...

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