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Michael Almereyda's Hamlet

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  • Essay length: 2650 words
  • Submitted: 20/10/2004
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University Degree Hamlet

The first 200 words of this essay...

One of Shakespeare's most famous plays; Hamlet has been adapted to film at least 43 times1. Michael Almereyda's Hamlet is the most recent adaptation; he describes his film as 'an attempt at Hamlet' and 'a patchwork of ideas'. Looking at how this patchwork comes together to form a Hamlet for the modern world is what this essay will concentrate on. In particular, the directors mise-en-scene, textual adjustments and how these affect the overall authenticity of the performance.

In the Hamlet play text 1.1, it is unclear what the conflict is or whether there is any conflict at all and Hamlet does not appear until the play's second scene where he is sullen, the reason for this mood only becomes clear at the end of the scene. In Michael Almereyda's film, he uses the introduction to explain that Hamlet is suspicious of his fathers' death, justifying his mood from the outset. The first line of the play, 'who's there?'2 spoken by Bernardo, immediately highlights the theme of mystery in the play. This scene involves three soldiers Francisco, Barnardo and Marcellus and Hamlets close friend, Horatio, all of whom see the ghost of Hamlets father. These first words are prose,

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