Hamlet: Video Comparison Essay, Research Paper
Hamlet: Video Comparison
Hamlet is one of the best known pieces of literature around the world,
and has fascinated many people from all walks of life, from critics to
psychologists. There has been much speculation to the different interpretations
of the play. Every reader has his or her own views of the play, like which
words are emphasized in a speech and what actions the actors are making
throughout the play. Several Hollywood directors have created their own
versions of the play, including a soon to be released full length version.
One of the versions which was brought to the big screen was the Kevin
Klein version. After viewing three different versions of Act 3 Scene 1, this
one was my favourite. When Hamlet and Ophelia meet in the room and begin to
talk, they seem as though they where once very much in love, and that their
relationship would have blossomed if it wasn’t for the recent interference.
Their conversation remains about their love for each other and then they kiss.
It seems as though after the kiss, Hamlet realizes what might be going on and
asks where Polonius is. Hamlet then realizes that he is in the room and
continues his charade of acting mad. I think that this interpretation is the
best one because it reflects my view of this scene as well as what I think
Shakespeare’s intentions were.
Another version was the with Lawrence Olivier. Compared with the other
two, this version didn’t quite seem as realistic. When Hamlet enters them room,
it seems like he already knows what’s going on, and that Polonius and the King
are in the room. You can tell that he thinks something’s up when glances over
at the hanging tapestries before he talks with Ophelia. They don’t seem as if
they are, or ever were in love. They don’t have any chemistry during their
conversation and I think that wasn’t what Shakespeare intended. When Ophelia
nervously glances over at her father and the king, Hamlet’s suspicions are
confirmed. He then asks where her father is and begins to act mad much like the
The last version that I saw was the most recent interpretation starring
Mel Gibson. Although I liked this version better then the Lawrence Olivier one,
I found it to be more awkward then the Kevin Klein interpretation. When Hamlet
and Ophelia begin their conversation, their relationship is present but their
love doesn’t seem as intense as it was shown in the Kevin Klein version. When
the shadow of Polonius appears on the roof, Hamlet notices and realizes that
Polonius and the king are in the room, and returns to his state of madness. I
don’t think Shakespeare intended that Hamlet realize visually that he was being
spied on. It didn’t seem like it fit in.
Overall, the Kevin Klein version came out on top. I think that
Shakespeare intentions would have best matched this interpretation. However,
the debate between readers continues, and will probably continue for centuries
to come. Hamlet will remain one of the most popular pieces of literature ever,
because of the mystery involved with it. Shakespeare created a legacy by
creating mystery, and mystery is what keeps Shakespeare’s plays alive today.