Tough Love in Mel Gibson's Hamlet and Branagh's Hamlet Essay

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Tough Love in Mel Gibson's Hamlet and Branagh's Hamlet

One of the most emotional and moving scenes in William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet is in Act III, Scene I lines 90-155 in which the title character becomes somewhat abusive toward his once loved girlfriend Ophelia. It is interesting to examine the possible motives behind Hamlet's blatant harshness in this "Get the to a nunnery" scene toward the easily manipulated and mild mannered girl. While watching Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson's film adaptations of the play, the audience may recognize two possibilities of the many that may exist which may explain the Prince's contemptible behavior; Kenneth Branaugh seems to suggest that this display of animosity will help the troubled
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Other than the amusing "fishmonger" and "words, words, words" scene, a more serious approach to conveying this insanity could be taken; Hamlet's scurrilous behavior toward the fair Ophelia could be taken as a sure sign of craziness, for Polonius is quite positive that Hamlet is deeply in love with his daughter. By mistreating Ophelia, perchance Hamlet can trick Polonius into believing that he has gone mad; Hamlet's display of hostility to a person he is thought to have cared deeply about may promote the idea that he is not the same person as he always was. Although it can not necessarily be proven, it appears that in the Hall of Mirrors Hamlet is aware that Claudius and Polonius are spying. He takes Ophelia roughly and pushes her face into the mirror, only inches from her father. This act seems to be directly aimed to the men hiding behind the door, not Ophelia.

From the beginning of "Mel Gibson's" Hamlet, the audience recognizes that the Prince is more subdued and introspective than in Branagh's version. Though this Hamlet is still angry with his mother, he seems more reluctant to express any disappointment in her direction. In the very first scene of the film, Gertrude asks Hamlet to stay in Denmark, and he consents in an immediate and submissive fashion. He then proceeds to drop to his knees and hug her about the waist. Gibson seems much more boyish and timid, but it is still safe to assume that he
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