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Hamlet J Arthur Rank Films 1948 Hamlet BBC 1980 Hamlet Warner Brothers 1990 Hamlet Columbia Pictures 1996 Hamlet Double A Films 2000 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Cinecom Pictures 1990 A Hawk from a Handsaw Hamlet in Film I am but mad north-north-west when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw --Hamlet Act II scene ii Hamlet is arguably both the greatest play in the English language and perhaps the most film-adapted tale of all A work so ingrained in global consciousness that people introduced to the play for the first time have seen it as nothing but a bunch of quotations strung together A character so much a part of modern culture that AEs Biography has profiled him with experts such as Orson Welles giving their interpretations of his life story For the uninitiated the story is pretty simple Young Hamlet prince of Denmark comes home from boarding school to find his father King Hamlet dead To make matters worse he does not ascend to the throne as his uncle Claudius -- his fathers brother -- has married Hamlets mother Gertrude and usurped the kingship Hamlet is visited by his fathers ghost who tells him it was Claudius that did the murder and that Hamlet must avenge him The rest of the play involves Hamlets pursuit of evidence and of an opportunity to kill the new king As it is a Shakespearean tragedy by the end all the major characters die save one to tell the story Hamlet is a very complex role involving a constant state of switching emotions to suit the present scene In some scenes he mourns his father in others anger is present and in still others Hamlet acts as if he is crazy Whether he is or not is still debated It is also a very physically demanding role requiring one to drain oneself
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