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

'Through a close examination of the opening sequences of "Much Ado About Nothing," analyse how effectively Kenneth Branagh uses a variety of film techniques to introduce to the audience, the themes, plots and characters of Shakespeare's play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework 'Through a close examination of the opening sequences of "Much Ado About Nothing," analyse how effectively Kenneth Branagh uses a variety of film techniques to introduce to the audience, the themes, plots and characters of Shakespeare's play. Kenneth Branagh uses many film techniques to good effect in the opening sequences of the film "Much Ado About Nothing". He uses these techniques very effectively to introduce the themes, plots and characters of Shakespeare's play, in an interesting way, which draws the viewer into the film. The film opens with some white words on a black background. These words are from a song in the middle of the play, and Branagh has brought this forward to the beginning, as the song sums up the themes and plots of Shakespeare's play. The lines: "sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, men were deceivers ever," speak of love and deceit- women being deceived by men - and is a good summation of the play's plot and themes. This is a somewhat bold move, as it contrasts greatly with the conventional openings of films - a colourful or atmospheric scene which draws the audience in. ...read more.

Middle

The advance of Don Pedro and his entourage is shown in slow motion accompanied with the majestic theme from the orchestra and as they gallop towards Leonato's residence the hooves of the horses fall in time to the music, this makes for a very impressive entrance which, I think stresses their importance in the play. This also gives Branagh the opportunity to show the riders separately though who they are is not made apparent by doing this. As the riders approach the castle, Branagh has added a small section to the film showing the women and men getting ready with some harmless nudity and showing the women of the castle getting into a frenzy as they try to get ready, while the soldiers joke as they get ready to bathe. I think this was added to make for a smoother transition between the arrival of the soldiers and the meeting between Don Pedro and Leonato because, while it may have been acceptable in a play or theatre production to have a slightly abrupt change it may be considered out of place in a film. This small scene also helps make the film more interesting as well while emphasising the playful humour which is evident throughout much of the film and play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Towards the end of this scene, Don John is noticed, staying sullenly out of the way in a comer of the courtyard. The change in mood of everyone in the room makes a markedly contrast in the atmosphere of the scene. The music changes to a minor key becoming soft as well. This sudden contrast from the jovial atmosphere to sombre silence implies to the audience that the character is a villain which is reaffirmed by his tense, stammering reply to Leonato's offer at hospitality. The scene then ends with Don Pedro and Leonato leaving the courtyard, behind the others, while Benedick and Claudio remain behind. Overall, Branagh uses the many film techniques available to depict the scenes from Much Ado About Nothing in a way that will interest film viewers and will bring out many of Shakespeare's own ideas. He uses a script very close to the original play, and I think this brings out much of the Shakespearean character of the film. In conclusion I must say that the opening scenes of the film do convey the humorous and light -hearted aspect of the play, and introducing the characters and their roles in the play, while also bringing forth the themes of love and the possibility of deceit. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Much Ado About Nothing 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 GCSE Much Ado About Nothing essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An Exploration of the Theme of Love inMuch Ado About Nothing ...

    4 star(s)

    During his soliloquy in Act 2, Scene 3, line 207, Benedick convinces himself that his friends are telling the truth: 'This can be no trick. The / conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this from / Hero.'

  2. Compare and contrast two characters from 'Much ado about nothing' as presented by Shakespeare.

    Shakespeare is presenting her as a woman seeking vengeance and therefore her language and behaviour are very different from earlier Acts. This also shows that Beatrice truly believes Hero is innocent and that she's very passionate about her beliefs. Beatrice's cries out: "O God that I were a man!

  1. How does Shakespeare present the relationship of Beatrice and Benedick in "Much Ado About ...

    However, Benedick does not realise that she knows who he is. At this time, Benedick has already told Beatrice that he thinks she is "disdainful" and has her "good wit out of The Hundred Merry Tales". Beatrice decides that this would be a perfect moment to express some of her

  2. How in "Much Ado About Nothing" does Shakespeare create dramatic tension?

    This is suggested by Beatrice stating "he lent it me awhile, and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one" and Benedick suggesting he would not marry Beatrice when nobody suggested he should. Such comments add not only intrigue to the play, but also the

  1. Explore the themes of deception in "Much Ado About Nothing". How are these themes ...

    His willingness comes not only because he is guilty of slandering an innocent woman, but also because he may care more about rising in Leonato's favour than in marrying for love. In the end, deceit is neither purely positive nor purely negative, it is a means to an end; a way to create an illusion that helps one succeed socially.

  2. How effectively does Shakespeare present the relationship between men and women in 'Much AdoAbout ...

    His metaphor suggests hypocrisy-wholesome in appearance but corrupt within. Claudio denounces Hero for the supposed discrepancy between her own 'outward graces'-ironically an illusion. The centrality of illusion and reality is established with the false accusation. The power of illusion is enhanced when fabrications oblige Beatrice and Benedick to express their real feelings of love for each other.

  1. How do Shakespeare and Kenneth Branagh make Much ado about nothing act 2 scene ...

    However Don Pedro, Claudio and Leonato overhear and use his words to their advantage as the trick continues. After Benedick see's them approaching him he quickly hides in the Arbour. The trick now begins; as Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro work together to try to convince Benedick that Beatrice is in love with him.

  2. English A discussion of the way William Shakespeare presents the changing character of Benedick ...

    Also he has another fear about women that happened in Elizabethan times, it is a joke made by men on other men called "cuckoldry" where something would grow above a mans head, but he could not see it, whereas everyone else could see he was being cheated on.

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