Where this proves least successful is where, in Romeo & Juliet, the dialogue adds a note of comedy and/or absurdity not suitable to the original work. In Act 1, Scene 1, the exchange between Abraham and Samson, joined by Gregory, Benvolio and Tybalt and leading to the brawl between them is much more serious in the original work. Understanding the cultural context of the time, and how offensive the biting of one's thumb is to an Italian, the scene gravely sets up the conflict between the houses Capulet and Montague. In the film, however, Samson's pink hair, Abraham's Latin ethnicity and Verona's obvious placement in Los Angeles, as opposed to Italy, causes the cultural context to be lost and makes the verbal exchange--at a gas station--almost absurd.
An equal difficulty for both of these films, in keeping Shakespeare's dialogue, is the business of sword fighting. In contemporary America, people don't walk around carrying swords and dueling with each other whenever they get the urge. Both movies solve this by replacing swords and daggers with various modern firearms. Again, Hamlet pulls this off most successfully.
In Hamlet, the director and/or screenwriter simply left out most all lines directly addressing the term "dagger" or "sword" when such an item was physically present and obviously a gun. The one place where the film abandons this is... [continues]
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(2011, 07). Shakespeare and Popcorn. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 07, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Shakespeare-And-Popcorn-732546.html
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"Shakespeare and Popcorn." StudyMode.com. 07, 2011. Accessed 07, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Shakespeare-And-Popcorn-732546.html.