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Compare two or more screen versions of a scene from one of the plays on the course - You may consider the relevance of editing, additions, casting, mise-en-scene, etc.

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  • Essay length: 1860 words
  • Submitted: 27/11/2003
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University Degree Hamlet

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Compare two or more screen versions of a scene from one of the plays on the course. You may consider the relevance of editing, additions, casting, mise-en-scene, etc.

Hamlet, one of the most discussed plays from the Shakespearean canon, has generated more film adaptations than any other Shakespeare play. The two film productions under discussion are those of Laurence Olivier (1948) and Franco Zeffirelli (1990). It is important to note that all of Shakespeare's plays were created especially for the stage. Laurence Olivier states that,

...allowing for the distinction between the two media, the same problems remain, of reducing the length, elucidating the plot, unravelling irrelevancies, and relating the result to the audience.1

These problems are evident when adapting a text from the stage to the screen. In addition, there are further discrepancies as film language adds its own dimension by offering wider interpretations to the audience. It can be argued that the 'original' meaning of the text is diminished, as no text can be a 'copy' of the 'original'.

Olivier's version of Hamlet is kept down to 155 minutes, and in the process of reducing the length of the play it also

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