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Hamlet Comparison Assignment

Autor:   •  November 25, 2018  •  2,772 Words (12 Pages)  •  210 Views

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Hamlet is not the only character that changes from each film. Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, acts and reacts differently depending on the interpretations of each director. Zeffirelli’s Gertrude expresses her jealousy and anger towards Olivia. Zeffirelli is the lone director to create a scene with the two main female characters of the play; Ophelia and Gertrude. Gertrude is much more aggressive in the perception of Zeffirelli. Gertrude comments on Oliva’s virginity in order to offend Oliva. Zeffirelli’s Gertrude is effectively blaming Ophelia for the bizarre behaviour of Hamlet. Zeffirelli makes Hamlet the weak spot to Gertrude’s aggressive and dominant demeanour. Zeffirelli’s Gertrude is more scared of Hamlet and what he is capable of. During the silent play, while Hamlet offends Gertrude in front of everyone. Gertrude allows herself to be publicly humiliated. Gertrude clearly expresses discomfort and shock during the play which reveals her treacherous actions. While the king reacts to the play, Gertrude looks at the king angrily, as though the King is exposing their clever scheme. Gertrude does not fear anyone but Hamlet. Zeffirelli utilises the oedipal complex to demonstrate the sexual desires Gertrude has for Hamlet. Laurence Oliver’s Gertrude is less aggressive and wicked. The queen reacts to the play similar to Zeffirelli’s version. Oliver also uses the oedipal complex. Oliver directs the movie so to seem as Gertrude as submitting to Hamlet’s sexual abuse. This shows that Gertrude does not feel sexual attraction towards Hamlet. On the contrary Zeffirelli’s version is presented as though Gertrude also has sexual desires for Hamlet. Oliver sexualises Gertrude as much as he could in 1948. Oliver adheres to the oedipal complex just like Zeffirelli. The most haunting questions about Gertrude's character revolve around whether she knows that Claudius is a criminal. Oliver implies in his movie that Gertrude does know that Claudius is a criminal. Oliver does this by showing a close up of Gertrude’s face during the silent play. Gertrude’s facial expressions illustrate her guilt and greed. Branagh’s Gertrude is the strongest Gertrude in terms of psychological and emotional strength. She is furious at the way Hamlet is acting, as any normal mother would. Branagh’s Gertrude does not express sexual attraction to her son. Branagh’s Gertrude is much more conservative with her clothing. Branagh’s Gertrude is the only one who does not cry or kiss Hamlet. Branagh’s Gertrude is less poltical and more of a pawn that Claudius uses to control Hamlet. Gertrude is presented using the oedipal complex by Zeffirelli and Oliver. Branagh Gertrude plays a less important role.

Lastly the King. Claudius is the antagonist in the play Hamlet. Claudius is a morally weak scoundrel who values power and material things more than he values others. Claudius is cunning, lacks morals, and is manipulative. Zeffirelli portrays the King as man who is crafty and clever. Claudius uses his daughter for his own political agenda. Zeffirelli shows just how cutthroat Claudius can be. After Ophelia is done being physically and verbally abused she cries for Claudius to help her, yet he steps right over her. This shows how pitiless and ruthless the King is. Oliver presents the Claudius as a straight forward person. Claudius is more aggressive and destructive. Oliver’s Claudius conveys visible disgust and hatred for Hamlet through his facial expressions. Oliver’s Claudius while watching the play is much more theatrical and angry at Hamlet for exposing him. After Hamlet confronts his mother, Claudius storms into the room aggressively interrogating Gertrude to find out what happened. Branagh’s Claudius looks more like a general then a king. The Branagh Claudius is much more composed and calm. During the play the famous “Give me light!” line is theatrical and dramatic in both Zeffirelli and Oliver’s version. In Branagh version, Claudius says it so calm and without emotion, it is comical compared to the other two versions. Claudius is militarized in the Branagh version. Claudius is much more rational and collected. Claudius in all three versions repents for his sins. Claudius in the Branagh’s version is frequently surrounded by people. In Zeffirelli’s and Oliver’s Claudius is typically by himself or with Polonius. Branagh’s Claudius is represented as a strong, calm, and collected leader. Zeffirelli and Oliver dramatize Claudius personality and actions. In all versions Claudius uses his daughter as a pawn in his political game.

Part 2

Question 1: Zeffirelli and Branagh have created their own version of Hamlet using their interpretation of the original text by Shakespeare. The two have created a movie using the same play, yet the audience will have different perceptions on Hamlet. The debate of the true meaning of Hamlet occurs due to the inclusion or omission of Freudian theory. Kenneth Branagh does not include Freudian theory with his version of Hamlet. Zeffirelli clearly uses Freudian theory, which changes the entire meaning of the Hamlet. The inclusion of Freudian theory changes the audience’s idea of what Hamlet’s motive is. Zeffirelli utilises the oedipal complex to show the real reason why Hamlet is mentally deranged. While utilising the oedipal complex one would think that Hamlet’s main goal is to marry his mother. Using the oedipal complex goes hand and hand with the Freudian theory of “The origins of the unconscious”. The true reason why Hamlet is considered mad by society is, because he is battling between his ID and super ego. The Zeffirelli version shows that Hamlet ID thirsts for sexual relations with his mother. While Hamlet’s superego is supressing his desires causing him to act irrationally. This effects the audience’s perception on Hamlet. By omitting of the oedipal complex, the audience would believe Hamlet’s main goal is to avenge his father. The inclusion of the oedipal complex changes the plot itself. Even a character’s role is affected by the addition of Freudian theory. For example, the connotations of the ghost change depending on Freudian theory. With Freudian theory, the ghost acts as the super ego while Hamlet sexually abuses his mother. The ghost in Zeffirelli’s version acts as the voice of society telling Hamlet his actions are not acceptable by social norms. Without the use of Freudian theory, the ghost represents, fundamentally a ghost. The ghost has no underlaying message. The psychological element of Hamlet’s actions is disregarded in Branagh’s direction of Hamlet. With the use of Freudian theory, the role of the ghost changes. Zeffirelli also uses the Freudian theory “The Death Drive”. Zeffirelli illustrates Hamlet’s fascination with death by placing Hamlet in a cemetery while questioning his


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