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Efficiency Analysis of Shakespeare’s “The Catastrophe of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” My performance analysis is based on Shakespeare’s “The Catastrophe of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. This production was directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starred Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates, and Paul Scofield. In this production of Hamlet, the initial old English is used. Nevertheless, I observed that any dialog that was too tough to comprehend or too wordy was erased from the scenes. Some of the scenes had actually also been modified.
For instance, In Act 2, Scene 1, the director has Polonius spy on Ophelia and Hamlet, and this is how he finds out of Hamlet’s weird go to with his child and Hamlet’s insanity. In the initial text of Act 2, scene 1, Ophelia notifies Polonius of Hamlet’s visit and his evident madness. I think the director picked to have Polonius spy on them to acquire this info, since the audience would observe for themselves just how mad Hamlet appears.
It was also most likely done to conserve time so that the film would not drag. In Kenneth Branaugh’s variation the film is consisted of on two tapes, and his version was a little too slow moving for my taste.
The lines 207-0 213 in Act 2, scene2, where Polonius has a lengthy monologue, likewise appears to have been cut from the script. In that very same act the lines where Guildenstern and Rosencranz go into the scene have been moved to Act 3, Scene 1, a point directly after Hamlet’s “Mousetrap” play.
There were also several other modifications to the placement of scenes in this play, consisting of Shakespeare’s popular speech, “To be or not to be […],” which had been relocated to Act 1, scene 2. I think all of these modifications were made due to the useful nature of the movie media. It was possible for the director to reveal several shots of different stars and events, moving back and forth in between scenes. This provided the impact of the scenes taking place all at once. Considering that these scenes appeared to have occurred at the same time in the motion picture, it most likely made sense or seemed more efficient to the director to move the scenes or acts around to what seemed the most logical point in the film.
As a result of these modifications, I felt this version of Hamlet was more fast-paced and engaging. It did not drag. I appreciated this production over the other Hamlet films I have seen, because it was made more interesting through director’s shifting camera technique. The setting and costumes of this play were also historically accurate for that time period. And the lighting was well done -not too dark. As far as the actors go, Mel Gibson gave an energetic interpretation of the melancholy Hamlet; and Glenn Close was so intense and very believable as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. The other actors also performed their parts very well. In summary, I enjoyed this performance more than Kenneth Branaugh’s production, because I felt it was faster paced and more dynamic. I feel this effect was achieved through the director’s technique of shifting the camera between the actors and scenes to give the impression that events were occurring simultaneously. I also feel Mel Gibson’s energetic performance and Glenn Close’s intense and realistic performance added a dynamic quality, which I have not seen in any other production of this play.
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