Hamlet, "To Be or Not to Be, " a Movie Comparison

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Many have tried to convey how they see the infamous “to be, or not to be” speech in the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. In 1948 it was Laurence Olivier, in 1990 it was Franco Zeffirelli, in 2000 it was Michael Almereyda, and in 2010 it was Greg Doran. What ever the time period, Hamlet is still relevant to any generation, young or old. In 1948 Laurence Olivier directed and starred in his version of Hamlet. even with his training in performing Shakespeare the delivery was a little bland. There wasn't any connection with him and the character he was playing. The darker atmosphere brought a more serious tone to the speech. Placing the scene of the monologue on a cliff was a brilliant idea, in that it further exemplified the thoughts of suicide. Maybe he was planning on jumping off of the cliff if he planned to follow through. His facial expressions were blank as if he was in deep thought and seriously contemplating his options of life or death. Overall, there was a feeling of distance and a disconnection from the audience and himself. In 1990 Franco Zeffirelli Directed his rendition of the famous play. He chose to cast Mel Gibson as Hamlet. In this film he places Hamlet in the tomb underneath the castle, which shows the theme of death in the soliloquy. Zeffirelli chose to keep most of the scene in a closeup of Gibson to show that the focus was solely on Hamlet and his thoughts. The clothing was kept in the original style of the 1600's which had a positive effect on the scene in its entirety. There was a passion in his voice when he recited his monologue. He closed his eyes when he discussed sleeping and dreaming, that gave the impression that he was imagining what he was saying. This seems to me to be the best interpretation of the “to be, or not to be” speech. In 2000 Michael Almereyda directed his rendition of Hamlet, Ethan Hawke was cast to play Hamlet in

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