Comparing the Character Claudius in Kenneth Branagh's Movie "Hamlet" with Laurence Olivier's Movie "Hamlet"

Topics: Hamlet, Derek Jacobi, Academy Award for Best Actor Pages: 3 (933 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Since William Shakespeare began his career as a writer, there have been several productions of his plays, but each production is different. One play which has been produced thousands of times is Hamlet. The context is all the same, however, each production of the play is unique. Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh have both produced their own interpretations of the play, Hamlet. There are many differences in how the two depict the play – one of them being the differences in the characters. One example of how the two producers differ with the interpretation of the play is their portrayal of Claudius. In Olivier’s version of Hamlet, Claudius is portrayed as insensitive, whereas in Branagh’s version of Hamlet, Claudius is portrayed as caring. Olivier – through Claudius’s opening speech – portrays the newly pronounced king as insensitive whereas Branagh uses the opening speech to portray Claudius as caring. In Olivier’s version, Claudius’s insensitivity is evident due to his lack of self-control and his wrong actions towards others. His inability to control temptation is showed while he is consuming alcohol before his speech. The problem is that Claudius is drinking in front of his country during his royal inauguration and his wedding. This shows that he does not care about the importance of the situation which proves he is insensitive. In addition to having a lack of self-control by drinking in front of his country, Claudius also shows insensitivity by throwing his empty cup at a nobleman. A nobleman is a highly respected figure in the country and Claudius, not caring, disrespects him by throwing his cup at him. In doing so, Claudius shows a lack of respect, therefore proving he is insensitive. Furthermore, Claudius also proves that he is insensitive through his tone of voice. In Olivier’s version, Claudius speaks in a very fast pace which shows that he does not care. In having a lack of interest with what he is saying to his country, Claudius proves to be...
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