Fit the Scripts Over many years after the play “Hamlet” was written by Shakespeare, people have directed the play in many different ways depending on the time period and directors. After reading “Hamlet,” I watched two movies of the same script but are directed by different people. At first I thought the older the movie, the more the movie would fit the play, as in being more traditional into following everything in the book compared to how movies today are altered in a more modern sense.
I watched Hamlet 1990, directed by Kevin Kline, there are so many lines dropped and added in to the play that I could not really make sense of how Claudius is really feeling. Claudius seems very arrogant because of the way he is responding to a threat that is given from Young Fortinbras. I also watched Hamlet 2009, directed by Gregory Doran, where it shows a lot more facial expression and emotions that suits the characters that are played in this movie. Hamlet shows a lot of pain and anger as he speaks towards Claudius or to anyone of the matter.
In I, II, Doran’s version shows a lot more emotions that is expressed through each character and also the Hamlet in this movie shows that he really has a hatred towards Claudius whereas in the other film directed by Kline, Hamlet hides his feelings from Claudius. The setting, acting, and script of the film directed by Doran are more suitable for the play than the film that was directed by Kline because of the way the directors had the characters present themselves. The setting in this play shows how much power and wealth Claudius has.
When you think about being kings and queens, you would imagine a castle or big giant rooms with high ceilings. In Doran’s version of “Hamlet”, Claudius is about to make an announcement about his marriage to Gertrude in a very elegant room. The room where they are all standing in is huge which is like six times our classroom width and four times our classroom height. The room is decorated with lots of golden antiques and columns to bring out the color in the room. There are guards by then doors with their weapons to protect intruders. With kings and queens there is also royalty.
The way these characters were dressed are so royal with their high class suits and dresses. From the white columns to Gertrude’s white gloves, it really brightened up the room and made things look fancy. Claudius cares about keeping the elegance of his kingdom. “Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, Holding a weak supposal of our worth, Or thinking by our late dear brother’s death Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, Colleagued with this dream of his advantage…” (Act I Scene 2, lines 17-21) This shows that Claudius wants to keep his kingdom in tiptop shape.
He does not want to show that just because King Hamlet passed away; it does not mean that the kingdom is going to fall apart. In Kline’s version, the room that was being presented in this same scene looked like a basement. The walls were made of bricks and the floor was made of woods. The room was very dark and it looked smoky. Kline’s version of Claudius litters on his own floor which does not show that he cares about his kingdom nor does he care about what other people might think of it.
The Doran’s version is more suitable because the setting is presented with a more royal vibe whereas in Kline’s version the setting showed less royalty and more of a dungeon. The expressions of the characters in this play clearly shows how they are really feeling. Hamlet in the film direct by Doran is played with so much emotion where you can see that he is really grieving over his father’s death and how Hamlet is disgusted with the remarriage of his mother to the brother of Hamlet’s father. Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, The imperial jointress to this warlike state, Have we, as ‘twere with a defeated joy, With an auspicious and a dropping eye, with mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole, Taken to wife. ” (Act I Scene II, lines 8-14) In the movie, after this part was announced by Claudius, Gertrude looked right at Hamlet who is wearing a completely disgusted frown on his face. This face expression leads to Claudius asking Hamlet why he looks so sad and Hamlet tells everyone why he looks so upset.
He speaks angrily when he tells them he can not hide his grief inside. In Kline’s version, when Claudius announces the marriage between him and Gertrude, Hamlet is shown sitting on a chair facing the opposite direction so you can not even see his facial expression. Also, during the announcements in this scene, Hamlet was barely brought up in the movie so you cannot see the anger or pain he is supposedly feeling. The Hamlet played in Doran’s version express what people should feel when they lose their father.
Hamlet was trying to embrace all the pain but he could not take it anymore so it showed through the tears coming down his eyes and the anger in his voice. A very important piece to whether or not the movie fits the script is if the movie actually used most of the script. In the actual script, there was a document that was to be sent to young Fortinbras’s uncle which is a very important part to the movie because who was to stop young Fortinbras’s from trying to conquer Denmark. Thus much the business is: we have here writ To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras- Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears Of this his nephew’s purpose – to suppress His further gait herein, in that the levies, The lists and full proportions, are all made Out of his subject; and we here dispatch You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand, For bearers of this greeting to old Norway…” (Act I Scene II, lines 27-35) Doran’s version shows that this document was very important to be received by young Fortinbras’s uncle.
Claudius sent Cornelius and Voltimand on their way to deliver to message to Norway. In Kline’s version, Claudius shows that there was a document but it was not sent off to Norway like it was suppose to be in the play. In the movie the document was a joke and Claudius crumbles the document up and throws it on the floor while everyone around him just laughs. Kline drops the whole part of the document being sent to Norway to inform young Fortinbras’s uncle about the invasion that young Fortinbras is trying to do.
Doran’s movie applies more to the script written by Shakespeare because even though there were lines and scenes dropped from the movie, Doran left in the parts that were important. The reasons why I choose Doran’s version of Hamlet over Kline’s is mainly because of how each character presented themselves and how the setting was set like. Before watching the videos, I was open minded about the time period difference in the productions of the movies.
The more I watched the movies, I thought that Kline just took short cuts through the scenes and dropped out important lines so that is how I decided that Doran’s movie was more suitable for the play. Doran’s version showed a lot more emotions than in Kline’s version. In Doran’s version you can actually tell that Hamlet seems kind of crazy whereas in Kline’s version Hamlet seems very calm.