ENG 4U: A Close Comparison of Character

It has been said that there are only a handful of stories in existence; the thousands of narratives that have been written (or filmed) are simply variations of these originals.  Still, these variations can be incredibly compelling. 

The more familiar we are with a story, the more actors and directors can rely on subtle changes to communicate meaning. Today, you will consider two versions of Hamlet; your goal is to note how the viewer’s understanding of the characters is altered by these subtle differences. Here are the characters we will consider:

  • Polonius (advisor to Claudius the King)
  • Laertes (Polonius’ son)
  • Ophelia (Polonius’ daughter, and Hamlet’s love interest)

As you assess these characters, consider the following:

  • how is the character portrayed in the two versions?
  • how do the other character perceive this character?

When we are done, you will discuss your findings with other groups.

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