Hamlet In Film

965 Words4 Pages
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is a literary work that has successfully stood the test of time for it is drenched with the water from the pool of human experiences, featuring themes of life, death and love. This is evident through its countless theatrical adaptations created in the 20th and 21st centuries. To be successful on the silver screen with the Shakespearean play, one must capture the complexity of the rich scenes featured in the novel, as seen in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet in 1990. On the other hand, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet solicits wild interpretation, as displayed in Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet in 2000. Arguably the most renowned speech in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is the “to be, or not to be” soliloquy delivered by protagonist Hamlet in act III, scene i, where Hamlet’s views on death and whether he should take the path of life or death are shown. In order to master Hamlet on the silver screen, it is vital to master this soliloquy. In my eyes, it is here where Zeffirelli shines, and where Almereyda does not. Zeffirelli’s 1990 Hamlet is a theatrical interpretation aimed at the mainstream Hollywood audience, and is a great example of how the silver screen can capture the complexities of Hamlet. This theatrical success is evident in the Zeffirelli’s take on Hamlet’s “to be, or not to be” soliloquy. Mel Gibson, who is casted as Hamlet, does a superb job in making the soliloquy flow as a natural thought, instead of appearing as an over-dramatic monologue, as it appears in other Hamlet adaptations. With Gibson’s reciting of his thoughts in a fluid and mellow manner, the idea that Hamlet is speaking to himself and only to himself becomes greatly convincing. The way Gibson recites the opening line “to be, or not to be”, without halting and instead continuing the soliloquy immediately after, reduces the over dramatization that is so common in other
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