• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Hamlet Movie Paper

Extracts from this document...


Chelsea Menser DE English Roark November 13, 2008 Innocence Hides Shame Books or plays that are made into movies often differ from the original. Franco Zeffirelli does not sway from this statement in his movie, Hamlet (1991), made of Shakespeare's 16th century play, Hamlet. He uses costumes and makeup, lighting, and changes from the original script to portray an innocence of Ophelia (Helena Bonham Carter). In the movie, after the death of Polonius, Ophelia goes to talk to Queen Gertrude about it. Depicted as a victim of the wrongdoings of men, Ophelia loses the original sense of remorse brought about in the play. Zeffirelli depicts Ophelia in a unique, childlike fashion. He then uses different types of lighting to stress features that were not obvious in the text. Zeffirelli also cuts out parts of the script, causing the scene to be less dramatic. Due to the lessened dramatization of the scene, the death of a woman is taken more lightly. ...read more.


Though the scene brings light to the pureness of Ophelia, she possesses contradicting attributes as well. She has dark features, including her hair and eyes. Other characters do not possess these qualities, perhaps showing that although she is seen with innocence, an impurity lies beneath that is not directly seen within the text. Zeffirelli also uses lighting to represent characters with greater meaning. The lighting of Ophelia changes during the scene, emphasizing features that are not as evident in the text. Upon her entrance to the castle, Ophelia has more light brought to her than the other characters. Light and dark are often used to give visual difference between good and bad, pure and impure, innocence and guilt. The characters then enter the room in which Ophelia sits on Gertrude's throne with a single bright light shining on her. She can be compared easily to an angel in heaven, the purest of all pure things, emphasizing her innocence yet again. ...read more.


The reader's view is changed drastically at this point, as all innocence is lost. As Zeffirelli did not use these lines, Ophelia retains her innocence. If the lines had been used all innocence would have been lost, just as in the play, because she was an unmarried woman. The viewing audience therefore has pity for Ophelia that, if the lines were included, would have been lost. The technical use of lighting, costuming, makeup, and script by Zeffirelli show that society holds greater standards for women than men. Shakespeare's society held the view that women must be perfect. In Shakespearean time, women were looked down upon for poor hygiene, appearance, or speech, as well as having sexual relations before marriage. Zeffirelli casts a fake innocence on Ophelia, providing reason for one to believe that women are taken advantage of often, though they are in fact feeble, powerless, and heavily dependent on strong men in their society. Zeffirelli causes Ophelia to obtain a false innocence in the film that is not achieved in Shakespeare's original play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The novel opens with Hana, a young nurse, gardening outside a villa in Italy in 1945. The European theater of the war has just ended with the Germans retreating up the Italian countryside. As the Germans retreated, they left hidden bombs and mines everywhere, so the landscape is particularly dangerous.

  2. Hamlet: The Controversy of Ophelia

    not last since he is at such a high position as Prince. Ophelia listens and obeys her brother. After Laertes leaves, Polonius talks to Ophelia about Prince Hamlet. "Set your entreatments at a higher rate than command to parle; for Lord Hamlet believe so much in him that he is

  1. The Savagery in this play excludes laughter. Explore this argument in relation to Hamlet ...

    Hamlet immediately jokes that "That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once". He then goes on to make many more jokes and puns in the same vein over the course of the scene. Hamlet asks to whom the grave belongs, to which the gravedigger claims that it is not for a man or a woman either.

  2. Elaine Showalter argues that Ophelias tragedy is subordinated in the play. Through comparison of ...

    However, in the Elizabethan era a woman being dependent and therefore subordinate to men was expected - therefore an Elizabethan audience may not have sympathised with Ophelia, as they were used to seeing women presented as weak.

  1. Explore the motives which have driven the villains in Othello by William Shakespeare and ...

    For example, his advice for Cassio that the "general's wife is now the general" is in fact plausible as his "advice" is indeed "honest". The reputation of "honest Iago" can be seen as an oxymoron as people in the Elizabethan times believed that they can tell people's personality by their outer appearance.

  2. Shirley Valentine " movie critique.

    It'd make the headlines. "World Exclusive". "Joe Eats Late". It is also problematic to predict what her decision is going to be like. For instance, her trip to Greece is not a quick "yes" or "no"; she hesitates to go, but on the other hand she would love to make her dream about traveling come true.

  1. Harlem Renaissance Research Paper.

    While the men and women worked throughout the day, the children "were encouraged to go to school" to receive an education (Otey 8). When the men and women were not working and the children were not at school, "...a most common sight along the streets and paths of the town

  2. How do the Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson present the problems of growing up, ...

    There is a lot of irony here where we can imagine that Winterson is showing us that although Jeanette's life maybe based around religion she wants to break free of this organised lifestyle she has been pushed into. It is almost mocking the Bible in a way.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work