Contrast Between Two Hamlets Essay, Research Paper
Shakespeare has been translated into many languages. There are many versions of Hamlet movies and theater plays all around the world. I personally read and watched Hamlet in two languages: Russian and English. I will contrast two American Hamlet movies, one of which is by Mel Gibson, with Mel Gibson as Hamlet and another one is staring Lawrence Olivier.
Both of the performances I found worthy and enjoyable, even though they are completely different. Gibson s film is a new film; therefore the background scenes are more vivid and believable. The famous To be or Not to be scene is performed as Hamlet walks into the family tomb. Along with remains of the royal family, king s corpse is in there. Hamlet moves around the tomb while speaking, he addresses the dead bodies as if questioning them; What it is like to be dead?, Is it worth it to die or is it even worst in life after death?: And make us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? . We can see the mad look in his eyes, the look of a frantic and betrayed man, which Hamlet was. Gibson is very physical in his performance, his facial expression is much more emotional than Olivier.
Lawrence Oliver is a blond Hamlet in the black and white movie. I found it perfect. That is exactly how I personally envisioned Hamlet in my mind. Many would find the fact of movie being black and white annoying and look at it negatively; I think that it is much better not being colored, because the black and whiteness of it emphasizes its tragedy, its darkness. As I mentioned, Hamlet is blond, which is right too, because Denmark people are light kind of people, like people of Germany and Holland. Part of Hamlet s speech, Oliver is saying without opening his mouth, therefore thinking it, which he really was. This could not be done in the theater; however, it is easily depicted in the movie. Olivier s clothing I found more close to what Hamlet would wear, as opposed to some kind of robe that was on Gibson, making him look like a monarch. One thing that I found inappropriate about Olivier s performance is that he was on top of the castle. Even though it does perfectly portrays the state of Hamlets mind, the fact that he is suicidal at the moment, it is not how Shakespeare wrote it. Olivier shows attempt to take his own life twice, by holding the bodkin against his heart, and then standing on the edge of the roof, looking down at the waves braking against the stones at the base of the castle. However, according to a book, Hamlet was supposed to be IN the castle, with Claudius and Polonius concealed somewhere, spying on him.
In my opinion Lawrence Olivier s Hamlet was more enjoyable and appealing then Gibson s.