William Shakespeare 's Hamlet And Hamlet Essay

1929 Words Aug 26th, 2015 8 Pages
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be...”(1.3.75) “To be or not to be; that is the question”(3.1.57) and of course the so often misquoted “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio...”(5.1.160-161). As one of William Shakespeare’s most renowned plays, even those having never seen Hamlet are able to quote it at a moments notice. It has inspired a great deal of directors to piece together their own versions of Hamlet to share with the public; the question remains which can be considered the best, and why? To go through every version would take centuries, and so this essay will be limited to two: Hamlet, made in 1990 with Mel Gibson and Hamlet, made in 1996 with Kenneth Branagh, in which I believe the second comes out on top. To convince others of this I will go over what I believe makes Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet superior, including costume design, setting and the actors.

You could throw together a group of talented actors and have them recite Hamlet day in, day out, but it would never be completely believable unless they were dressed for the part. The costume design makes it clear from the beginning that Gibson’s Hamlet is set in an earlier time period than Branagh’s, with everyone dressed in darker, more disheveled clothing, including the royalty. This is not to say that costume design was sloppy in any way, rather the opposite; it worked to make it seem as if the gap between the lower classes and the royal family was closer together, that the new king and queen did not hold…

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