Hamlet Comparison Essay: Movie vs. Play

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Ambrosia Mitchell
English 12

And the Academy Award for Being Over Dramatic Goes To…
Tony Robbins said, “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others”. Shakespeare’s writing has had many different ways of being presented because people perceive it in different ways. Whether it is a literal representation or a spin, directors like to show viewers the way they perceive the text. In the movie version of Hamlet the director, Kenneth Branagh, wanted the viewers to find Shakespeare interesting and full of action and drama. Kenneth chose the right direction to go in to keep the audience’s attention but it did not show the true tragedy of Hamlet. The story of Hamlet is very depressing because many people are betrayed and die. Hamlet’s own uncle killed his father and married his mother. It is easy to feel sympathy for the characters that had lost people they loved; such as Hamlet and Ophelia but the movie did not show that emotion. The movie was too over the top to really show true emotion. All of the scenes were very dramatic and Hamlet’s character was one that was too overdone. Branagh chose to have Hamlet act extremely crazy but Shakespeare wrote Hamlet’s character as possibly being crazy but the reader does not know for certain. Although Kenneth did make the movie dramatic he did make right choices when showing certain themes such as hatred. He highlighted the hatred that Claudius had toward both Hamlets and he also made it known that Hamlet hated Claudius even though in the play it was not that apparent. Who is the man that lost his father? Is he a lost little puppy or is he a violent lion? In the play, Hamlet was a young man who was weak because he had been betrayed but the movie did not show that he was hurting and weak. The movie depicted his character as being arrogant. In the play Hamlet was depressed and hurting and he could not really function. In Act l Scene II Hamlet was degraded by Claudius. Claudius was telling Hamlet to stop grieving over his father and consider him as his new father. Claudius called Hamlet a girl by saying, “tis unmanly grief”. (pg.18). Shakespeare made the women in Hamlet, Ophelia and Gertrude, seem very frail and powerless and by having Claudius tell Hamlet that he was unmanly shows that Hamlet was acting like the women in the play. Hamlet was so weak that he would even let his mother who betrayed him keep him from continuing his studies in England. He told her, “I shall in all my best obey you, madam”. (pg.18). Hamlet should not have listened to the woman who had hurt him even though she was his mother. Hamlet’s family had put him through so much pain. He was the first “emo” kid. He was very suicidal crying out,” Or that his Everlasting had not fix’d his canon “gainst self-slaughter”. (pg.19) He was saying that if God did not see suicide as a sin he would kill himself. This proves that he was very depressed and nothing helped him ease the pain. It was very apparent in the play that Hamlet was unhappy but the movie did not depict him that way. In the film, he was very aggressive and outspoken. In the breakup scene Hamlet was very abusive towards Ophelia. He grabbed her and dragged her around. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet as being more hurt than angry during this scene but clearly the movie showed him as being angrier. A scene where he was being very outspoken was the scene where he put on the play. Shakespeare wrote the play scene as being very personal with only a few viewers but in the movie it was a full auditorium. This was perfect for how Hamlet acted during this scene because he made a big scene by running to the stage and pointing and shouting at Claudius. Hamlet wanted people to make the connection between the plot of the play with reality but in the play he was too scared to actually tell anyone about how his father really died. This is one...
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