Values of Hamlet in comparison to Hamlet movie (2000)

Essay by maxludoHigh School, 11th gradeA-, June 2004

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Shakespeare's famous revenge tragedy Hamlet is a story of unrelenting twists and thrills of madness and revenge. I have chosen to compare this play to Michael Almereyda's film made in 2000 that is a modern interpretation of the original text and was an attempt to do to Hamlet what Baz Luhrman did to Romeo and Juliet.

This a brief synopsis of the play; Hamlet is the son of King Hamlet who died before the play begins. King Hamlets brother, Claudius takes the throne and marries his wife. The story largely tracks the revenge sought by Hamlet after the murderer who is, by GREAT surprise, King Hamlet's brother, Claudius.

Almereyda's film remains mostly faithful to the original plot but the setting is in stark contrast to the original setting Hamlet was written to take place within. The film is, set in the busy, fast paced city of New York and adapts the play to reflect elements of popular culture; through the sound track, the casting decisions and the contemporary setting.

It seems that in making the adaptation the director is hoping to make Shakespeare's classic more accessible for contemporary audiences; allowing it to "manifest itself in our everyday lives" (as the Director of the film is quoted as saying in an article 'Prince of the City'.)Almereyda thus sees his movie as a mediation of the central ideas of the text by setting it in modern times, in a way that seems unnecessarily exaggerated, the movie is attempts to grab audiences in the same way as it did when/if they first read it.

To overcome the problem of the lack of a monarchy in New York, the kingdom of Denmark is now, the Denmark Corporation, a multi million-dollar media company, exemplifying the idea that we live in a media saturated...