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Hamlet's genre

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Choose at least one of the plays from the list of readings for this week. It is suggested you read the play and view the play as well (film, on stage, etc.) Write a short summary of the chosen play incorporating the main points. Was it comedy or tragedy? What feelings does the play evoke? What ideas does the play express and what values does the play endorse as far as beliefs and attitudes? Did you like the play? Why or why not? What quotes from the play support your opinions?

# William Shakespeare â?" "Othello," p.1455 or "Hamlet," p.1545 (as assigned)
# Henrik Ibsen â?" "A Doll House," p.1666
# Lorraine Hansberry â?" "A Raisin in the Sun," p.1870
# Oscar Wilde â?" "The Importance of Being Earnest," p.1937

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Without further "lecturing", please allow me to start by mentioning that "Hamlet" is a widely chosen play for this type of assignment. It happens so that I have specialty in Shakespearean plays. Next time you come across another assignment as such, it would help if you would come by Brainmass sooner so that OTAs are not rushed into completing your assignment. I would also like to mention that this should be a stress-free assignment. There are several different types of "Hamlet" to view: you should pick from either the Ethan Hawk (as Hamlet) version or Mel Gibson (as Hamlet) version to watch. The Mel Gibson version is a lot more closely related to the text than the Ethan Hawk version. I would suggest you going down to the nearest Blockbuster to rent one, and you will be able to start writing this homework ...

Solution Summary

Hamlet's genre is examined briefly.

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Hamlet film versions: in this posting there are a variety of film versions of Hamlet discussed, with clarifications provided to better assist the student.


You had provided me with some opinions awhile back and I was wondering about some of your points that I wondered if you could clarify for me.

1) The setting of the play is more contemporary, as are the costumes, but it still remains relatively true to Shakespeare's original vision. (WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THIS?)

2) Mel Gibson's version (1990), as with others, leaves out some information, and the sequencing of events is altered for a smoother flow in the film. (HOW IS THE SEQUENCING CHANGED AND HOW DOES THAT MAKE IT FLOW MORE SMOOTHLY?)

3) Zeffirelli (the director) chooses to change the chronology of some of the events so that the plot moves along more quickly, not necessarily altering the substance of the action, but presenting different scenes as if they occur simultaneously so that the plot does not get bogged down. (WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THIS?)

4) The play does not appear as "darkly" filmed as others (in terms of lighting!), and the supporting cast does an excellent job presenting characters that stand up to close scrutiny. (CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN BY THIS?)

5) The scripting is changed in some instances: for example, in the movie, Polonius is shown spying on Hamlet and Ophelia for information, while in the play, the dutiful Ophelia goes to her father with the information. Changes like this do not seem to have detracted from the play's impact. (WHAT IS THE LIKELY REASON THAT ZEFIRELLI MADE THIS CHANGE?)

6) Though Fortinbras is generally left out of most of the plays, this does not seem to hinder the play's effectiveness. Some argue that Shakespeare, being an artist himself, would not mind such license being taken in the name of literary interpretation. (WHAT DO YOU MEAN?)

7) Ethan Hawke's version is, as mentioned, the more contemporary of all of the plays, but it seems to lack the power and intensity in acting (IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT IS THE BASIS FOR YOUR OPINION?)

8) Kevin Kline's version has supporters, but some aspects of Hamlet's character are elusive in his portrayal of the "Prince of Denmark." He finds the wit, satire and cynicism of Hamlet's character, but not the depth of internal struggles that haunt the young Dane. (IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT IS THE BASIS FOR THIS JUDGMENT?)

Thank you so much!

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