Interpretation of Conflict within Hamlet Essay

Interpretation of Conflict within Hamlet Essay

Length: 1690 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout a variety of movie interpretations of a given film, one version proves to be the most effective for distinct reasons. Within Act 3, Scene 4 of Hamlet, Shakespeare provides little direction by which the scene should be interpreted, but the play, taken in its entirety, proposes a certain way in which Hamlet and Gertrude express their emotions. This has led to distinctive cinematic interpretations of this scene, all in which portray the storyline in a unique way. Kenneth Branagh’s version of the closet scene provides a more realistic portrayal of the conflict between Hamlet and Gertrude than the Gregory Dovan and Campbell Scott versions; Branagh’s view on the mother-son relationship, Hamlet’s reaction to the ghost and Gertrude’s guilt is closer to the original text in which Shakespeare leaves room for audience interpretation.

Branagh’s view on the mother-son relationship in the closet scene is a more practical portrayal in comparison to Gregory Dovan and Campbell Scott’s versions. Firstly, in the film directed by Kenneth Branagh, the relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude is portrayed with emotional intensity, as they both struggle to come to terms with reality. When Hamlet says “I must be cruel only to be kind” (Ham. III.iv.180), he and Gertrude place their foreheads together, as they both repent on the conflict apparent within their relationship. At this point in their conversation, Hamlet has lowered his vocal tone, speaking to Gertrude in a calm manner (Branagh 1996). This action proves that Branagh believes Hamlet and Gertrude have a close connection as mother and son. Although Branagh allows for Hamlet’s emotions to get the better of him earlier in this scene, Hamlet’s true anxiety is portrayed as a result of h...

... middle of paper ...

... the mother-son relationship, Hamlet’s reaction to the ghost and Gertrude’s guilt is closer to the original text in which Shakespeare leaves room for audience interpretation. Had Shakespeare not penned a true reflection of human behaviour in all its subtleties, the Dovan and Scott versions of Hamlet might not have been questioned for their legitimacy.

Works Cited

Branagh, Kenneth dir. Hamlet. By William Shakespeare. Per. Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie,
Derek Jacobi. 1996. DVD. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, 2007.
Dovan, Gregory dir. Hamlet. By William Shakespeare. Per. David Tennant, Patrick Stewart.
2010. DVD. BBC Worldwide Americas Incorporated, 2010.
Scott, Campbell dir. Hamlet. By William Shakespeare. Per. Campbell Scott, Blair Brown,
Roscoe Lee Brouwne, Lisa Gay Hamilton. 2000. DVD. Hallmark Entertainment, 2000.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Hamlet – the Irony Essay

- Hamlet – the Irony         The existence of considerable irony within the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet is a fact recognized by most literary critics. This paper will examine the play for instances of irony and their interpretation by critics.   In his essay “O’erdoing Termagant” Howard Felperin comments on Hamlet’s “ironic consciousness” of the fact that he is unable to quickly execute the command of the ghost:   Our own intuition of the creative or re-creative act that issued in the play also assumes a struggle with the literary past, but one of a more complex nature....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1970 words (5.6 pages)

Selective Perception in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Selective Perception in Shakespeare's Hamlet          From the end of Act I, the point at which Hamlet judges it may be prudent to feign madness - to "put an antic disposition on" (I.v.181) - much of the first half of the play concerns characters trying to determine why the prince's melancholy has evolved into seeming insanity.  Each of the major players in Elsinore has a subjective impression of the reason for Hamlet's madness; indeed, in each of these misconceptions there is an element of the truth.  At the same time, however, the nature of these selective perceptions provides insight into the characters who form them.  And finally, these varied perspectives are notable in thei...   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1591 words (4.5 pages)

Significance of the Ghost to William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Significance of the Ghost to William Shakespeare's Hamlet In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', the ghost plays a key role in influencing the destinies of the other characters. The ghost is important to the play as it symbolizes both fate and catalyses the plot. It also brings the play into the revenge tragedy genre, which allows foreshadowing to occur and helps the audience, both Elizabethan and contemporary to better understand the play and appreciate it. The late King Hamlet is forced to roam the earth as he was murdered before he could confess to his sins, having to remain in purgatory till his sins are washed from him and he is able to enter into heaven....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
1576 words (4.5 pages)

Shakespeare's Hamlet and His Hallucinations Essay

- Hamlet is arguably the most famous play written by the highly renowned English playwright, William Shakespeare--a man known in much of the western world as the father of english literature. Part of the reason for this title is for Shakespeare’s ability to take a character, and through a basic plot, transform said character into becoming something that many scholars have debated over for years. Hamlet in this play is this character; a character whose mental instability or sheer lack of perception has lead to countless debate and argument over the actual explanation for the characters behavior....   [tags: literary analysis]

Powerful Essays
1489 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Hamlet by William Shakespeare

- While a revenge tragedy by definition, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is first and foremost a play concerning memory. The importance and effect of memory and the ars memoria could not be stressed more. Memory, remembrance, or, in some cases the lack there of, frame much of the dialog throughout the work and are therefore unmistakable themes of the play. In Act one, scene five, the ghost of old king Hamlet uses memory as a call to arms, “Mark me…Remember me,” he commands his astonished son (1. 5. 2, 91)....   [tags: memoria, zeus, claudius]

Powerful Essays
1763 words (5 pages)

Essay William Shakespeare's Hamlet

- ... That’s the end” (4,3,22). In a weird response to say the least, no one sane would ever dare say this to a king for fear of reprove. Hamlet, on the other hand, acts insane to somewhat protect himself from the kings harm and quietly threaten him at the same time. This cunning way for threatening Claudius reveals Hamlet’s rather high intelligence and scheming ways. While speaking to Ophelia, Hamlet demands, “You jig, you amble, and you lisp; you nickname God’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance....   [tags: literary analysis]

Powerful Essays
658 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Play and Theater Analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

- “I don't really agree with the notion of setting the plays anywhere in particular. When asked that question about Hamlet I tend to say that it was set on the stage.”-Neil Armfield1. No other quote on Shakespeare’s Hamlet could have more precisely summed up the play’s echoic, reverberant and hauntingly evocative self-referential quality. No other playwright deployed the language, conventions and the resources of the theatre as effectively, so as to bring alive the whole world of the text/stage to the world of the audience....   [tags: Actor, Stage, Reality]

Powerful Essays
1946 words (5.6 pages)

Shakespeare's Hamlet: Who is Gertrude? Essay

- Hamlet –Who is Gertrude.       Back in 1883 Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Lectures and Notes on Shakspere and Other English Poets comments on what he interprets as a problem or inconsistency in the presentation of the character Gertrude in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet:        Ham. A bloody deed;- almost as bad, good mother,      As kill a king, and marry with his brother.      Queen. As kill a king.   I confess that Shakspere has left the character of the Queen in an unpleasant perplexity....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Powerful Essays
2027 words (5.8 pages)

Custom Essays: Gertrude of Shakespeare's Hamlet

- The Gertrude of Hamlet      Gunnar Bokland in “Hamlet” describes Gertrude’s moral descent during the course of Shakespeare’s Hamlet:   With Queen Gertrude and finally also Laertes deeply involved in a situation of increasing ugliness, it becomes clear that, although Claudius and those who associate with him are not the incarnations of evil that Hamlet sees in them, they are corrupt enough from any balanced point of view, a condition that is also intimated by the “heavy-headed revel” that distinguishes life at the Danish court....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Powerful Essays
2131 words (6.1 pages)

Conflict in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essays

- An individual’s response to conditions of internal and external conflict is explored throughout literature. In his play, Hamlet, Shakespeare delves into the themes of appearance versus reality, lies versus deceit, rejection versus self doubt and tragedy, and in doing so attacks the frivolous state of humanity in contemporary society. In order to explore these themes, however, he uses several forms of conflict to project his opinions and expand his ideas relating to the themes of the play. Internal conflict, as well as external conflict are dominant features of his works, and in Hamlet are made evident through a succession of dire events which can attack and destroy someone....   [tags: William Shakespeare Conflict Essays Hamlet]

Powerful Essays
2442 words (7 pages)