Hamlet in the Media Assignment

| January 8, 2016
Hamlet in the Media

Reminder: Answer only ONE of the following questions using proper essay format. You must also use proper MLA formatting to organize your essay, to provide in-text citations and for the Works Cited page. Check out this mini-lesson on MLA formatting from earlier in the course.

  1. Shakespeare has had a profound influence on our daily lives, ranging from the speech we utter to the music we listen to and play. Several classical composers have used the Bard’s plays as the central focus in their compositions. Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet remains popular to this day as are pieces by classical composers such as Mendelssohn in his work, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” As for Hamlet, the British composer, Frank Bridge, wrote “There is a willow grows aslant a brook” in an attempt to capture the tone of Gertrude’s lament which follows the death of Ophelia in act 4 scene 7. Listen to the piece by following the link below and then comment on how Frank Bridge achieves the desired effect by examining the rhythm, tempo, key signature and orchestration in his work:

  1. Painters and print-makers have tried to capture scenes from Hamlet on canvas and paper for the last two centuries. Examine three or more paintings or prints that are based on the play, and decide how successfully the artists portray the events, ideas, and characterization contained within the scenes. Students who choose to answer this question should consider composition, color, contrast, symbolism, and other techniques that the artists use in their depictions. If a print is in black and white, what is the effect of this rendering?  Remember to include the images you are discussing in your answers. Some background in fine arts will be helpful to you in answering this question.  You will find suitable images at this link:
  1. Compare two film versions of act 4 in Hamlet by examining the Mel Gibson and Kenneth Branagh. Decide which production is more successful by discussing such topics casting, editing [which scenes are edited in or out] and time setting as well as other concepts that you feel are worth analyzing. Use the interactive Venn diagram below if you need support planning your response:
  1. Pick out Hamlet’s soliloquies throughout the play. Is there a pattern in what Hamlet says about himself and his dilemma? Support your interpretation using the text.

Make sure to have another person edit and revise your work before submitting the final draft to the Dropbox. Length: 2.5-3 pages or approximately 600-700 words

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