Friday, November 13, 2015

Film adaptation of Hamlet

I am very pleased that we got to watch scenes of a movie version of Hamlet in class. I had not imagined how differently I would view the personalities of the characters as they were portrayed in the film and play. For example, Hamlet in the movie was much more comical and 10x more savage than I had thought he would be like when I had been reading the play. He actually seemed a lot more insane to me in the movie, too (meaning his "acting" didn't seem like much of an act). Also, when reading, I certainly did not expect the scene between Hamlet and Gertrude to be filled with so much sexual tension. It was entertaining to visualize the scenes as I was following along in the play. Because I was able to see the scene being acted out, I obtained a lot of new perspectives. The film brought the words to life (as it is supposed to do) and it affected me significantly. Interpretation can make or break the adaptation. It is up to the director and actors' discretion to determine how the scenes will go, and every one of their decisions influence the viewer. If the creator had decided to go in a different direction, it is interesting to think of how you might think of something.

4 comments:

Jack Zheng said...

(In response to Abbey) From Shakespeare's mere words on paper, theater and film directors could certainly choose to adapt the plays with the tones they want in each line. The sexual tension here might have been entirely made up by the film director, and even the scenes themselves are so different from what I imagined. In a play, space is extremely limited and only essential objects would be on the set. But in a film, directors are free to use scenes grand in scope and massive crowds of people. Also, when I read the story, I did not imagine even a fraction of the dramatic emotions in the movie.

Madison Cummings said...

I completely agree, I am a very visual person so it was so interesting to actually watch what happened in the play. I enjoyed comparing how I imagined everything to how the director wanted things to seem. I agree with Abbey in that I imagined Hamlet much less violent and harmful towards his mother when reading the play. He was much louder and crazier than I thought he would be in the movie scene. To comment on the "sexual tension" that has been mentioned, I would definitely say it came across as a very violating scene for Gertrude, which makes sense because Hamlet intrudes on her love life with both his father and uncle (something a son wouldn't/shouldn't normally do). It does not seem like they have a relationship of a typical mother and son because I would like to think that a sons first instinct would be to have some concern for his mother. Even if she didn't outwardly show her grief, how can he be so sure it is not there? Also, he threw her around on the bed. It is not often that people get physically violent with their parents, especially sons to their mothers. He did not seem to hold much respect for her. I am not sure if that plays on the fact that back in those days not many men actually respected women, or if Hamlet was just particularly crazy.

Jack Zheng said...

Ah I forgot to remove the "In response to Abbey" when I copied and pasted this from my word document with blog posts.

Jac said...

I agree with Madison when she said, "To comment on the 'sexual tension' that has been mentioned, I would definitely say it came across as a very violating scene for Gertrude, which makes sense because Hamlet intrudes on her love life with both his father and uncle (something a son wouldn't/shouldn't normally do). It does not seem like they have a relationship of a typical mother and son because I would like to think that a sons first instinct would be to have some concern for his mother." I think this draws upon the fact of the Oedipal complex. Hamlet wanted to conquer his mother, and even if the book had not directly portrayed this scene as sexual, there is definitely some sexual inuendos (which were only heightened by the film adaptation.) The character of Hamlet, although he officially is doing it to avenge his father, is still trying to kill a father figure (being Claudius). This is a key representation of the Oedipal complex, in which a son wants to kill the father figure and be dominant over the mother figure.