Hamlet in Film Adaptation: A Better Way to Go? 10th Grade

How many different interpretations can be derived from one source? Due to the ubiquitous distinctions that exist within each person, the result we perceive from an event changes with each individual perception. Out of the various editions of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 version pairs historic visuals to the original script. Equally critically acclaimed is Gregory Doran’s 2009 television film adaptation, embodying a modern take on the timeless tale. The various elements in each not only allow for the viewer to understand the plot of Hamlet, but also facilitate differing perspectives on one scene: the death of Polonius, and Hamlet’s subsequent reaction and treatment of Gertrude. Although they share the same plot, the differences between Branagh’s and Doran’s rendition of that scene illuminates the contrast between a literal interpretation and a contemporary retelling.

Upon first glance of Gertrude’s bedroom in Branagh’s film, one immediately takes note of the opulent mise-en-scene in which an abundance of regal furniture and antique ornamentation garnish the spacious set. Dusty pinks, sky blues, and gold-plated goods dominate the colour scheme, reinforcing the immense wealth possessed by the royal family....

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