scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 1,074
Comparative Essay Shaping Hamlet on the Silver Screen Two popular film renditions of Shakespeares great tragedy Hamlet present us with two very different interpretations of the title role In the first act of each we come to know Franco Zeffirellis Hamlet played by Mel Gibson as authentic believable never exaggerated and not altogether puzzling in stark contrast Kenneth Branagh directs and plays a Hamlet who is fantastic larger than life intensely tortured and enigmatic Arguably Zeffirellis interpretation taken on a purely literal level is more true to the playwrights intent regardless of its fairly free rearranging and cutting of lines and passages yet for that his Hamlet is somewhat lacking in the complexity of character so central to the drama Branaghs Hamlet although initially less plausible ultimately draws us in toward the real themes of the play in a much more convincing and satisfying way The first and most immediately obvious contrast between the two films is that of setting illustrating the main point of this essay While Zeffirelli remains historically faithful to the text at a literal level Branaghs nineteenth-century setting retaining all the claustrophobic hierarchical qualities of the medieval court provides the modern audience with an empathic bridge into Hamlets world The twentieth century audience might feel themselves too far removed from the medieval setting to be able to identify with the characters as human beings struggling with human issuesissues that transcend the bounds of history A nineteenth-century Hamlet is not so far removed from our own experience that we are distracted by the setting as we are by the unfamiliar trappings of a medieval Hamlet A pronounced difference between the two Hamlets is the way they interact with those around them This difference has profound effects both on the development of tension and on the complexity of the interpretation of the character Zeffirellis somewhat sulky Prince of Denmark often speaks very directly to those he is addressing With Branagh we
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA