Usually, when a movie is made about a story in a book or a play, the two stories are not exactly the same. The movie tends to add small details or leave some out in order to meet time limits and to make the story what they think will be more interesting. Such is the case with Shakespeare's Hamlet. The movie starring Mel Gibson and Glenn Close left out and even added things that were not originally in the play.
When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet he did not write in a scene depicting the funeral of King Hamlet. However, in the movie this scene is present. Not only is it an added scene but it also replaced 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 and where the ghost is introduced into the play. The movie never depicts this scene at all. The ghost is first introduced into the 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 of Elsinore. Shortly after, Fortinbras himself makes a speech accepting the honor and declaring himself the new king. The movie fails to show the end where Fortinbras makes his declaration speech.
The movie left out another part from the play. In the play, Polonius asks Reynaldo to travel to France and spy on his son Laertes. However, the movie never shows this scene. In fact, the movie fails to even include Reynaldo.
The differences between the movie and the play are not great enough to distract from the power and meaning of the story. Even though there are a few discrepancies, the movie and the play are the same story. All in all, the movie was an excellent depiction of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
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