Hamlet Essay

Essay instructions 

This assignment requires you to consider how a film approaches and interprets Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You will watch

one of the film adaptations of Hamlet —there are plenty of versions out there; probably the most famous three of these versions star in chronological order Laurence Olivier, Mel Gibson, and Kenneth Branagh.  Your 5-7 page essay will

develop an argument that focuses on how the film re-creates the play by focusing on the relationship to either A. the

 use of the ghost or B. the five soliloquies. You will want to reflect upon how the film interprets specifically A. the ghost or B. the soliloquies but also reflect upon the larger implications of how this corresponds to the film’s overall treatment

 of the dramatic text. Your essay should locate quite carefully specific scenes and moments that you will use to support your argument.

Whatever your choice (A or B) is, you need to be specific in your analysis of how the film’s particular choices worked to shape the interpretation of the Shakespearean text. In other words, you need to develop an argument regarding the film’s choices and think about how the film interprets the play. Make sure to formulate a clear, thoughtful thesis about the

relation between the film and textual treatments under discussion; develop and support your thesis using concrete

examples; and try to reach a conclusion that might prompt a reader to think further about this matter.

Remember that this is not a review of the film—so do not simply praise or pan the film.  Instead you are to argue some specific interpretation about the importance of the ghost or the soliloquies (depending on which you’ve chosen) to the 

original play by closely analyzing the relationship between the text as written and how the film translates that text cinematically. Essay must be MLA-Format, 5-7 pages, double-spaced and using a standard 12pt font Times New Roman.

Before you write: -Read and think about the written text of Hamlet, considering the scenes, issues, and language of

most interest to you involving either A. the ghost or B. the soliloquies. You want to examine and then view parts of the

 film additionally on your own. (You can simply borrow the film from your local video store.) Think about the treatment of

 your selected scenes, issues, and speeches. Did the director include them? If not, why not? If so, what choices of

staging and interpretation did the filmmaker and actors make? How did they contribute to the film’s overall vision and emphases? Give special attention to those aspects of the performance that added to your understanding of the text, either by calling attention to dimensions and possibilities you had not contemplated, or by making choices that did not accord

 with your own intuitions and therefore prompted you to reconsider those scenes more carefully.

After you have written:-Edit your writing to make the sentences lucid, the connections between thoughts felicitous, and the paragraphs useful as indicators of the stages in your argument. Double-space the essay, and use standard 1 inch margins. Proofread your printed essay (do not rely solely on spell-check or onscreen reading) to make sure that it is grammatically correct, clearly organized, and the best, most persuasive presentation of your thinking possible.

Please also let me know which version of the film you wil be using prior to starting the essay.

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