Captain Corelli Essay

3721 Words Nov 1st, 2010 15 Pages
This study guide is aimed primarily at students of English Literature, who are studying Louis de Bernières’s novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin in the second year of Advanced GCSE studies but will be useful for any students wishing to look at the way in which a novel is adapted for the screen. The guide focuses on the following areas: From novel to screen: Narrative adaptation Characters Representation of nationalities Representation of war Music Language Humour

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin traces a love that begins uneasily between a conscripted officer of the occupying Italian army, Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage), and Pelagia, a strong-willed, ambitious young
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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is an epic novel. At 435 pages long and spanning over fifty years of history it stands as a considerable challenge to a film maker to retain the spirit of its proportions and yet represent it in only two and a half hours screen time. When a novel is adapted for film, events in the narrative and the order in which they occur are often changed. Some reasons for this may be as follows: • to make the film more visually exciting • to speed up the dramatic action • to help the audience focus on certain characters and events rather than others • because long dialogue scenes do not work well in the mainly visual medium of film • because time constraints dictate a focus on scenes which are vital to character or plot development

ä Consider the changes which have taken place in adapting Captain Corelli’s Mandolin for the screen. Why have these taken place and how do they add to the film? Use the following as starting points if you wish: • the build-up to war. How does this affect your expectations of the story to come? • the development of Velisarios, the strongman • the glory of being a soldier [see novel Chapter 6] • the fact that Psipsina does not feature in the film • the ending


The initial image of Cephallonia is given to readers of the novel through Dr lannis’s description (below) written for his

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