Hamlet Movie Paper

Authors Avatar


Chelsea Menser

DE English


November 13, 2008

Innocence Hides Shame

        Books or plays that are made into movies often differ from the original.  Franco Zeffirelli does not sway from this statement in his movie, Hamlet (1991), made of Shakespeare’s 16th century play, Hamlet.  He uses costumes and makeup, lighting, and changes from the original script to portray an innocence of Ophelia (Helena Bonham Carter).  In the movie, after the death of Polonius, Ophelia goes to talk to Queen Gertrude about it.  Depicted as a victim of the wrongdoings of men, Ophelia loses the original sense of remorse brought about in the play.  Zeffirelli depicts Ophelia in a unique, childlike fashion.  He then uses different types of lighting to stress features that were not obvious in the text.  Zeffirelli also cuts out parts of the script, causing the scene to be less dramatic.  Due to the lessened dramatization of the scene, the death of a woman is taken more lightly.  This may potentially be evidence that in society, women are not regarded as highly as men are.

Join now!

        In the beginning of the scene, Zeffirelli portrays Ophelia as being very childish, using clothing and makeup.  Children are often seen as innocent, ensuring the innocence of Ophelia which is not clear in the play.   Her hair is down, messy, and tangled, and looks as if it had not been brushed in a long while.  She is unable to care for herself after the passing of her father, and shows that women cannot care for themselves without a strong man in their life.   Ophelia wears a purple dress, the color often symbolic of royalty.  One would expect the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay