Perse Studio

Independent-learning super-curriculum projects: reading, research and ideas shared by Perse students

The presentation of women and their relationships with men in the Almereyda version (2000) of Hamlet

Trinny D, Y13

Almereyda’s film version of Hamlet was released in 2000 and was novel in its modernisation of the play’s concepts, through setting it in contemporary New York City. The Shakespearean dialogue is accurately preserved but modern concepts are employed to tell the story, with a particular specialisation being technology. Hamlet allows different interpretations of the play, but the Almereyda version cuts large sections of dialogue and alters the scene structure. This demonstrates the flexible nature of Hamlet, whilst still valuing the importance of the story. Act 3 Scene 1 is fascinating to compare to the Almereyda version, as it provides more insight into the theme of representation of women, through analysis of the relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet and how their respective characters are presented in contrast to the text. Additionally, the character of Gertrude is also explored. The sequence chosen runs from 59:58 to 1:05:07 and provides an insight into the characters at the moment where Hamlet and Ophelia are being spied upon by Claudius and Polonius.

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