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

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.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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 loses more than half of Shakespeare's lines.2 In stating this, it is significant that in his intentions, Olivier concludes that his version Hamlet should be regarded as "an essay in Hamlet."3 Like Olivier, Zeffirelli's version lasts only 129 minutes, and only contains thirty percent of the lines. ...read more.

Middle

and Dangerous Liasons (1988).10 Helena Bonham Carter is a more flexible actress who, prior to playing Ophelia, had starred in films such as A Room with a View (1986) and Lady Jane (1987).11 Ophelia's death scene indicates as to where the plot of the play is leading. It is clear that in both versions the affect of such a scene creates tension, and indicates the "conflict, which is to follow between characters."12 In Zeffirelli's version, prior to this scene Ophelia's confusion and fear is shown as Hamlet circles around her (Act Three, Scene One, Line 145-50). A point of view shot is used to show that she is trapped in this situation, and that she may not have a way out, other than by dying. Ophelia's grief is a result of her father's death. Due to not being able to express herself, she is becomes childlike and shows signs of an assertive sexuality.13 Her childlike behaviour is illustrated when she hands out flowers. These flowers may indicate that she herself, whether knowingly or not, anticipates her own death. In the same way, Olivier's film gives a close-up that may indicate that she is planning to commit suicide. As she exits the scene, the camera follows. By the time the camera gets to her apartment, she is no longer there. It is at this point that the camera dissolves to the willow scene. In Zeffirelli's version, Ophelia is shown leaving the castle. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is clear that the women are positioned in relation to Hamlet, and are there to accentuate his role. In Zeffirelli's version, Gertrude dominates the film. It can be stated that Olivier's version is a pre-feminist version, where Ophelia is portrayed as a helpless victim. In comparison to this, Zeffirelli's Hamlet shows Gertrude as a prominent figure and is definitely a feminist version of the play. Overall, both adaptations of Hamlet offer a different interpretation of women. Olivier's is a post-war reading, which does not allow the female characters in the play to exert any issues, whereas Zeffirelli's version goes beyond this aspect to question and highlight the role of women in Shakespeare. 1 Morley, 1978, p. 100. 2 Davies & Wells, 1994, p. 181. 3 Morley, 1978, p. 100. 4 Pilkington, 1994, p. 165. 5 Kliman, 1988, p. 26. 6 Cartmell in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 29. 7 Lawson in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 231. 8 Cartmell in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 30. 9 Pilkington, 1994, p. 193. 10 Cartmell in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 36. 11 http://www.homunculus.com/icons/bonhamcarterhelena/BonhamCarterInfo.html. 12 Lawson in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 233. 13 Lawson in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 241. 14 Davies, 1990, p. 45. 15 Lawson in Klein & Daphinoff, 1997, p. 242. 16 Rothwell, 2000, p. 25. 17 Kliman, 1988, p. 30. 18 William Shakespeare, 1994, p. 132. 19 Davison, 1973, p. 49. Farah Ahmed P98077347 ENGL 3051 - Interpreting Shakespeare: Shakespeare on Screen Seminar Tutor: Deborah Cartmell 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Hamlet 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 University Degree Hamlet essays

  1. Portrayal of women in 'Hamlet'

    no place for her, but if she is like Gertrude, perhaps 'nunnery' in its other sense, i.e. brothel, is a more appropriate place for her. Shakespeare's creation of Ophelia as a weak and childlike character, with a distinct lack of heroism, is necessary.

  2. The Portrayal of Shakespeare's Hamlet in Cinema

    (Anthony B. Dawson. 1995. pp. 33-34) Edmund Kean also liked to put an entirely new spin on Hamlet. In the 18th - 19th century Hamlet became subject to the Romantic spirit of the time. Goethe, Coleridge and Hazlitt were the influences for Edmund Kean's innovative new Hamlet who seems to

  1. Examine the presentation of fathers in "Hamlet" with close reference to three key scenes.

    He is also rather forceful in this speech and tries to persuade Hamlet not to leave for Germany, away from his prying eyes: And we beseech you, bend you to remain Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye, Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

  2. Contrast an Elizabethan and a modern audience's understanding of Hamlet's views".

    She always seems to be on Hamlet's side, an example of which is when she blames Hamlet's 'brainish apprehension' for Polonius' murder. She is always mothering and caring for him intensely. Interestingly, in spite of Hamlet's treatment of his mother, this production stages Hamlet's death next to Gertrude, holding her

  1. The Effects of Ambiguity in Hamlet

    When Hamlet says, "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,"(3.1.83), Shakespeare makes a statement about all of mankind. His audience is forced to reflect on the worth of their own existence. They question if life is worth living "when he himself might his quietus make/with a bare bodkin"(3.1.75-76)

  2. In conclusion the attitudes towards women in the plays Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida and ...

    Prince Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother. The use of Ophelia highlights the extent of which Hamlet feels betrayed by his mother.13This betrayal gives him a low opinion of women as a whole and a bad attitude towards them. Due to his anger towards his mother's quick marriage to his uncle he makes a condemnation of women in general.

  1. Consider the significance of death and disease in 'The Duchess of Malfi' and 'The ...

    Unlike many other plays the death is not reserved for the last scene or even the last act. Webster surprises us by bringing death about at unlikely times and often too quickly after the plans have been made for a character's murder, for example in the dumbshows in The White Devil which occur in Act II.

  2. Can we write about the tragedy of Hamlet in any meaningful fashion

    The interrogative state is Hamlet's natural and habitual register of language; "to be or not to be that is the question". Most of his soliloquies are shaped by it, his dialogue is punctuated by it and thought processes dominated by it.

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