Hamlet Movie Comparison

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Hamlet Movie Comparison

By | June 2006
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Hamlet: A Comparison of Two Movies

By

Michael Bucknam

May 29, 2006

The purpose of this report is to compare and contrast two movies made about Hamlet. I will present and discuss different aspects of the version directed by Kenneth Branagh to that of Franco Zefirelli. During this paper you will be presented with my opinions in reference to determining which version of Hamlet best reflects the original text by Shakespeare. I will end this paper with my belief and explanation of which movie is true to the original play. Normally, when a movie is made about a story in a book the two stories are not exactly the same. The movie is adjusted by adding small details or leaving out some parts in order to make the story more interesting or shorter in time to adjust for people watching it in a cinema. This is the case with Shakespeare's Hamlet for one of these movies while not the case with the other. Zefirelli's movie starring Mel Gibson left out but also added things that Shakespeare never wrote that were not originally in the play. It is highly edited and straight forward while Branagh's version is much more exact and quite longer. It includes all of the words as in Shakespeare's original version. When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet he did not write a scene depicting the funeral of King Hamlet. However, in Zefirelli's movie this scene is present. Not only is it an added scene but it also replaces the original opening scene of the play. In the play, the first scene is where the ghost of King Hamlet appears to the guards on duty, Marcellus and Bernando, and where the ghost is introduced into the play. The movie never even show's this scene. The ghost is first introduced into this movie in the following scene where Horatio is shown telling Hamlet about the ghost. The play depicts Fortinbras receiving a vote from the dying Hamlet to become the new king. Shortly after, Fortinbras himself makes a speech accepting the honor and declaring himself the new king....