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)
For each version of the character you’ve chosen, answer the following questions:
- what is this character like?
- how is this character moving?
- how is the character interacting with others?
After you have watched both versions, 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.