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Hamlet Film and Play Comparison. Zeffirelli made some changes in Hamlet that do not take away from the overall meaning of the story, but rather, they change the viewers perception of Hamlet.

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Jennifer Qing Mr. Atchison English B30 October 14, 2011 Hamlet Film and Play Comparison Any movie based on a well-known piece of written work will inevitably be critiqued and compared to the original story, and Zeffirelli's version of Shakespeare's Hamlet is no exception. Viewers who have read the play will scrutinize the director's interpretation of the film and judge whether the changes made in the movie do the play justice. For the sake of film aspects and duration of the movie, Zeffirelli made some changes in Hamlet that do not take away from the overall meaning of the story, but rather, they change the viewers' perception of Hamlet. The movie dismisses Hamlet's procrastination in another aspect as well; Hamlet's soliloquy about Hecuba is cut out. In this soliloquy, Hamlet compares his own lack of action to the actor's emotional speech: "What would he do, had he the motive and the cue for passion that I have? He would drown the stage with tears... ...read more.


Hamlet admired Fortinbras for going to war in vengeance and "exposing what is mortal and unsure/To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,/Even for an egg-shell" (4.4.50-52). Fortinbras was willing to risk everything on war for an insignificant piece of land, highlighting Hamlet's "dull revenge" (4.4.32) in contrast. Due to the elimination of Fortinbras in the movie, this comparison is not made, and Hamlet's procrastination and cowardly hesitation is not as pronounced as it is in the play. Omitting Hamlet's timid qualities leaves his erratic side in the movie. Hamlet in the movie comes off very lively compared to the play because by excluding Hamlet's comparison to Fortinbras, Hamlet's lack of action is neglected in the movie. Absence of Fortinbras in the movie not only eliminates his role as a foil character, but it also eliminates the war aspect in the movie. At the beginning of Shakespeare's play, after Horatio suggests the idea that young Fortinbras may want revenge on Denmark because King Hamlet killed King Fortinbras. ...read more.


The Oedipus complex interpretation adds a twist onto Hamlet's character and adds interest in a film aspect. It also shows how obsessed Hamlet is with the idea of Gertude and Claudius together in incestuous sheets" (1.2.157). In a sense, Hamlet's sexual force may reflect and express the anger he harbors for Gertude as well. Sexual desire and anger are both strong emotions, and expressing one emotion amplifies the other. The Oedipus theme adds another dimension of interest to Hamlet's character, and his sexual outburst also reflects his anger to his mom for being with Claudius. In the making of the movie Hamlet, director Zeffirelli made changes such as cutting out Hamlet's Hecuba Soliloquy, cutting out Fortinbras' roles and intensifying the sexuality between Hamlet and Gertude. While none of these changes made a major impact on the plot line, the changes affected the viewers' interpretation of Hamlet. Hamlet's character in the movie is more aggressive. Mel Gibson did a splendid job accurately portraying Hamlet, and film aspects taken into consideration, Zeffirelli made suitable changes to recreate Shakespeare's Hamlet on film. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The strongest part of this essay is the analysis of Gertrude and Hamlet's relationship. The other points that are made are a bit superficial and neither the play nor the film are analysed in enough depth.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 26/06/2013

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