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"Hamlet: The Different Movies As Night and Day"
Hamlet: The Different Movies As Night and Day
"But no more like my father than I to Hercules." Likewise, Lawrence Olivier's version of Hamlet is no more like Kenneth Branagh's than Othello to MacBeth. Nearly the only similarity is the script, and even that has been severely modified. In this quotation, the differences between the late King Hamlet and Claudius are displayed by Hamlet to his mother, Gertrude. In this paper, the differences between Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet are also shown. In comparing and contrasting Laurence Olivier's film(1940) and Kenneth Branagh's film(1996), the most obvious differences were setting, main speeches, and characters.

The three main differences in setting between the two movies are time period, scenery, and technology. The first major difference in setting, which is time period, can be reasonably explained. Lawrence Olivier's version is set in the 1600's, which corresponds with Shakespeare's writing of the play. However, Kenneth Branagh's version was created in 1996, a time in which most people have stereotyped all of Shakespeare to be confusing and misguided plots full of "thee's" and "thou's". Therefore, to prompt more people come see the movie, Branagh had to make it more relevant to the modern audience. He chose the nineteenth century for this reason, and so that the language of Hamlet would still seem appropriate. Another reason for the choosing of the 1800's is the fact that that time period held many courtly and royal scandals, illegitimate children, and hidden affairs. The perfect backdrop for a film that contains everything that a twentieth century movie would have.

Technology is the second major aspect of setting that differs between the films. For example, in Branagh's version, Ophelia, once stricken with madness, is put into a straight jacket. The royal family walks directly past a pool table. Laertes', as well as Fortinbras' men had modern guns and pistols....

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"Hamlet: The Different Movies As Night and Day." Jun 21, 2018
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essay on Hamlet: The Different Movies As Night and Day
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Literature / Hamlet
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