Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet for Today Essay

Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet for Today Essay

Length: 1803 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Franco Zeffirelli's 1990 filmic translation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a dramatic telling of the classic story which is as well acted as it is entertaining. Aside from these points, Zeffirelli's (and co-scripter Christopher Devore's) screenplay is an edited, and re-mixed version of the original which has many lines cut, as well as the entire sub plot concerning Fortenbras, completely removed. Franco Zefirelli's private interpretation of Hamlet, although divergent in some ways from Shakespeare's version, still remains a superior rendering, due to the continuity of the screenplay.

 
Zeffirelli's divergence from the original script begins immediately. Rather than opening with the traditional sequence involving the first sighting of the ghost of Hamlet's father, Zeffirelli instead opens with a funeral sequence of his own design. In this scene the director establishes Hamlet's distrust of Claudius as well Claudius' desire to act as a father figure to Hamlet. To fully display this, Zeffirelli plucks these lines from a later scene, "think of us as of a father; for let the world take note you are the most immediate to our throne, And with no less nobility of love Than that which dearest father bears his son Do I impart toward you." (1.2.113-119). These lines show Caudius' attempt at good intentions, while Mel Gibson's (as Hamlet) response shows the distrust the character holds for him. This also sets up the relationship between young Hamlet and Claudius excellently for both the familiar audience as well as the audience inexperienced in Shakespeare. Still the question remains of why Zeffirelli chose to eliminate the opening scene that Shakespeare intended. In Shakespeare's version the opening scene establishes the existence ...


... middle of paper ...


...e a version of Hamlet which was not seen in Shakespeare's day. Primacy and recency would dictate that Shakespeare's audience would, in some way, concentrate on Fortenbras, whose presence begins and ends this play. Shakespeare's Hamlet is a man with friends who is much more secretive, and conniving than one might think today. His Hamlet is tactful in his plans, but without tact interpersonally. Zeffirelli's audience is forced to concentrate on the plight, and character of Hamlet, who is direct, and hostile, but a tactful loner when the time is right. Zeffirelli accomplishes this diversity while remaining loyal to his source by maintaining a solid screenplay with a continuous flow supporting his own take on the story. In short, Zeffirelli's Hamlet is both a loose and a loyal interpretation of its source, which is, for today's audiences, a Hamlet in its own right.

 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Hamlet By William Shakespeare, And The Video Representation By Director Franco Zeffirelli

- When comparing the written story of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, and the video representation by director Franco Zeffirelli, noticeable differences make each version unique. Reading Shakespeare 's version of Hamlet cannot have as strong of an impact as Zeffirelli 's representation because of a weak protagonist, dull scenery, and comparably subpar exposition. The characterization in both works presents a different interpretation of personalities as well as interpersonal relationships between players....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Franco Zeffirelli]

Term Papers
1167 words (3.3 pages)

Hamlet: Zeffirelli vs. Branagh Essay

- To play one of Shakespeare’s most complex roles successfully on stage or on screen has been the aspiration of many actors. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been the focus on various accounts throughout the 20th Century, each actor attempting to bring something unique and unmarked to the focal character. Franco Zeffirelli and Kenneth Branagh, both film directors, introduce varying levels of success on the screen through downright differences in ways of translation and original ideas. Zeffirelli’s much shorter interpretation of the film is able to convey the importance of Hamlet as a masterwork by using modern approaches to film but still capturing the traditional work behind Shakespeare’s wel...   [tags: William Shakespeare, Franco Zeffirelli, Branagh]

Term Papers
935 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Franco Zefferelli's film Hamlet

- Franco Zefferelli's film Hamlet Franco Zefferelli’s film, Hamlet, adapted from Shakespeare’s text, Mel Gibson’s Hamlet, struts and frets his life in Denmark, convincing almost everyone that he is “mad.” The film bases the question of whether or not Hamlet is actually insane almost solely on Gibson’s acting interpretations, but Zefferelli’s editing choices assist in making the point that Hamlet is not insane, but either in a fog of confusion and anger from his grief, or pretending to be mad to manipulate others....   [tags: Film Movie Hamlet Zefferelli Essays]

Term Papers
949 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis Of Shakespeare 's Hamlet And Franco Zeffirelli 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

- Comparison of the Analysis of Characterization Through The Theme of Death in Hamlet Presentation of main themes can alter the audience’s perspective on characters. In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and Franco Zeffirelli’s movie version of Hamlet there are apparent differences between the presentation of the theme death. A key difference between the play and the movie is how each medium showcased the character’s deaths. In turn, this changes the audience 's point of view of the characters and their traits....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Hamlet]

Term Papers
1029 words (2.9 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet And Franco Zeffirelli 's Film Version Of Hamlet

- Presentation of main themes can alter the audience’s perspective on characters. In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and Franco Zeffirelli’s movie version of Hamlet there are apparent differences between the presentation of the theme death. A key difference between the play and the movie is how each medium showcased the character’s deaths. In turn, this changes the audience 's point of view of the characters and their traits. The differences between the execution of the deaths in the well known play Hamlet and Franco Zeffirelli’s cinematic interpretation of Hamlet are through the portrayal of Hamlet (I)’s death and funeral, the hysterical grieving of the Queen and Ophelia, as well as the pe...   [tags: Hamlet, Gertrude, Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet]

Term Papers
1142 words (3.3 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet, Franco Zeffirelli 's Version Of Hamlet Essay

- Unlike many other adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Franco Zeffirelli’s version shows Hamlet portrayed in an upbeat light. Zeffirelli strays away from depicting the character as a lost soul—doomed, in a sense, from the very start, and instead chooses to give audiences a healthy and happy Hamlet, who, as film critic Robert Ebert writes, has “nothing fundamentally awry until everything in his life goes wrong in one swift motion”. Hamlet’s character Mel Gibson is known for his robust and physical acting style, and breathes energy into the character of Hamlet....   [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Mel Gibson]

Term Papers
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Betrayal Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Disloyalty leads to family destruction. The strength within a family is dependent on its loyalty towards one another. For when the loyalty is broken, the family is broken as well. In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, disloyalty leads to many character’s deaths including Hamlet himself. In both Kenneth Branagh and Franco Zeffirelli’s version of Hamlet, the character of Hamlet is developed completely different, therefor creating a different message in each movie. Other characters such as Fortinbras, Laertes and Claudius are foils to Hamlet through the same and different worldviews....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Franco Zeffirelli]

Term Papers
1766 words (5 pages)

William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay examples

- Explore how relationships have been represented in this scene, evaluating the significance of this scene in the play as a whole. In your response include a discussion of the composers’ language and stage techniques. The relationships in ‘Hamlet’ represent the play’s universal themes that resonate through generations due to the ubiquity of human condition. Through the employment of the Senecan revenge tragedy and Machiavellian characters, Shakespeare depicts the Elizabethan social climate in Hamlet’s militarised relationship with Claudius as well as Hamlet’s altering inclination towards mortality and madness....   [tags: Hamlet, Tragedy, Poetics, Franco Zeffirelli]

Term Papers
1148 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Franco Zeffrelli´s Hamlet

- Franco Zeffirelli portrayed a more effective version of the famous to be or not be soliloquy by having it set below in the family mortuary. Having violently rejected Ophelia, Hamlet climbs down the stoned stairs of the medieval castle and into the cellar where all his ancestors’ burial tombs lie, including his father’s. Surrounding himself in tombs and skeletons, he intones the to be or not to be speech in isolation and darkness. Having this particular set design, Zeffirelli enhanced the scene by creating a cold, dark, and suspenseful atmosphere....   [tags: design, soliloquy, lighting, custom]

Term Papers
968 words (2.8 pages)

Movie Essays - Oedipal Hamlet in Film

- Oedipal Hamlet on Film        It has commonly been suggested by such disciples of Sigmund Freud as Ernest Jones that Shakespeare's character of Hamlet is the victim of an Oedipus complex. While any reading of the play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark that focuses on the text and not the psychoanalytical fads of the current age disproves any notion of Hamlet's oedipal nature, many film artists have followed popular psychology and have adopted this theory for the screen. Whether out of precedent, pressure, or some need to discover some complex in Hamlet, this has become a very popular trend for filmmakers....   [tags: Movie Film comparison compare contrast]

Term Papers
1715 words (4.9 pages)