Adaptations Of Shakespeare's Plays: Hamlet

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Adaptations of Shakespeare's Plays: Hamlet


There have been so many film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, either explicitly or in a loose 'updated' sense, that it's often tough to separate the wheat (Kenneth Branagh's 1996 Hamlet) from the chaff (Mel Gibson's slightly earlier attempt), the straight adaptations (Romeo + Juliet) to the quirky updates (Ten Things I Hate About You) to the 'inspired by' efforts (The Lion King). Below are some interesting ones to look out for.

Shakespeare movies are so numerous; they form their own sub genre. With over 250 Shakespeare movies produced, Shakespeare film adaptations such as Baz Luhrman's "Romeo and Juliet", the Shakespeare inspired "Shakespeare in Love" and the more recent "Hamlet 2000", prove that Shakespeare films adaptations and movies retain their enduring appeal.

As an example of Shakespeare's enduring popularity, sixty one film adaptations and twenty one TV adaptations alone have been made of Hamlet, the earliest being in 1907 and the latest in 2000.

In this paper we are chosed Kenneth Branagh's film Hamlet. It's been adapted many times indeed, but the full Prince of Denmark cinematic experience, there's no option but the Branagh 1996 filmed version. This latest version is not only the best filmed adaptation of Hamlet that have ever seen, but the best cinematic expression that have come across of any of Shakespeare's plays.

Film compared with Shakespeare's play

In Branagh's film adaptation of Hamlet (1996), Kenneth underscores the confessional themes present in the play by setting two scenes in a Roman Catholic confessional box. In the first scene, Polonius interrogates Ophelia about her relationship with Hamlet— an interaction that reinforces the common association of the confessional with an obsession over female sexuality. In the second scene, Hamlet listens to Claudius's penitential prayer and becomes, as Mark Thornton Burnett notes, "an unpunctual but unbosoming father confessor." By depicting Hamlet and Claudius in the confessional box, Branagh introduces a conspicuous anachronism since the device was never used in early modern England and did not experience widespread use in Catholic countries on the Continent until the seventeenth century.

Yet Branagh's inclusion of the confessional makes visually explicit a long-standing critical association of Hamlet with a father confessor that began as early as A. C. Bradley. Discussing Hamlet's exhortations to Gertrude to repent her sins, Bradley concludes, "No father-confessor could be more selflessly set upon his end of redeeming a fellow-creature from degradation, more stern or pitiless in denouncing the sin, or more eager to welcome the first token of repentance."^ Subsequent literary critics have expanded Bradley's position hay positing that Hamlet takes on the role of a "Black Priest," "priest/king," and "priest manque."" When viewed in the context of Branagh's inclusion of the anachronistic confessional hox, the critical interpretation of Hamlet as a father confessor calls attention to another more conspicuous and charged religious anachronism present in Shakespeare's play.

More specifically, the rite of private or auricular confession to a priest permeates Hamlet even though the rite was no longer considered by the Chin-ch of England to be a sacrament after ...
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