The similarities and differences between two movies of the play Hamlet

Essay by natbat48High School, 12th grade January 2004

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William Shakespeare's Hamlet has been remade a number of times in film and in plays. I recently watched two movies of Hamlet directed by different people. The directors add little things to make it their own interpretation of the play Hamlet. Some directors like to emphasize different scenes for instance. The Hamlet movies that I watched were one directed by Kenneth Branagh, and one by Franco Zeffirelli. The directors in each of these had their own way of telling the story of Hamlet.

The first one I watched was by Franco Zeffirelli. Zeffirelli is well known for making Shakespeare plays into movies and making them very accurate to the play. This case was not an exception, Zeffirelli made his version of Hamlet very accurately. He made it in the right period of time, and he rarely missed a scene. Although one part of the play that was missing was the whole story about Fortinbras.

The beginning was also different from the play. In the movie, he began with a funeral for King Hamlet, as opposed to the guards seeing King Hamlet's ghost. I think the way Zeffirelli made the movie very accurate to Hamlet was the way he made set look so much like it should in that time period. The castle that was used was very dark looking also, which made the movie more tragic. The performances by the actors in this movie were very intense and true to the characters. I felt that this movie was exactly how I would have pictured Hamlet played out in my head.

The second version of Hamlet that I watched was directed by Kenneth Branagh. This movie did a great job at actually telling the story of Hamlet. Branagh made the story very easy to understand by the way...