The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast Shakespeare's play Hamlet, with Hamlet the movie starring Ethan Hawke. In this paper I will discuss the similarities and difference in reference to: setting and costumes, how the text was delivered, and scenes that may have been deleted or added. While the storyline for both the play and movie were very similar, it was the differences that made the movie easier to understand and enjoy.
First, the setting and costumes for the play and movie were very different. Shakespeare’s play takes place in the 14th/15th century, whereas the movie takes place in the year 2000. Also, the play takes place in a castle in the country Denmark and the movie was in New York, with Denmark being a corporation. The director’s interpretation of Denmark being a corporation and the “king” the CEO of Denmark Coporation put a refreshing spin on an old story. The characters in the movie wore modern clothes, instead of what would have been worn when the play was written. I found the differences in the costumes did not change or improve the quality of the story.
Next, the way the actors spoke and delivered their scenes in the movie were very similar to the play. For instance, both the play and the movie was delivered in Shakespeare’s style of speech. At first I was disappointed to hear the characters speak in the old world version, but after awhile I was able to follow the movie much easier than the play. Another similarity was how the actors delivered the asides. The movie depict asides as an actor thinking to himself, like a memory. For example when Hamlet talks to the audience in the play about the relationship between his mother and father, the movie shows Hamlet thinking aloud to himself about his life with his parents while he is watching childhood home movies. When Hamlet delivers his famous soliloquy “To Be or Not To Be” in the movie you can see the struggle he is having with choosing life or death. He is thinking the...
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