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Shakespeare on screen: trans-cultural translations and distortions

  • Composante

    Lettres et langues


Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy and still worldwide stage and screen transposed. This seminar intends to explore the passage from script to screen, and to compare several film adaptations, from various periods of times (running from 1948 to 2000) and different cultures (English, Italian, American, Russian).


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Focusing on key scenes in the tragedy (the uncanny apparition of Hamlet’s father’s ghost; the encounter between Hamlet and Ophelia orchestrated by eavesdropping Polonius; the ‘mousetrap’ to catch the conscience of the murderer; the confrontation between Hamlet and his ‘lustful’ mother; Ophelia’s madness and drowning; the gravediggers’ scene; the final sword fight between Hamlet and Laertes) in the films by Laurence Olivier (1948), Grigori Kosintsev (1964), Franco Zeffirelli (1990), Kenneth Branagh (1996) and Michael Almereyda (2000), this seminar will invite a comparative approach, in which both socio-political stakes and aesthetics choices are taken into account, so as to analyse timeless notions such as dread, fratricide, regicide, revenge, intelligence, repudiation, action, sacrifice and madness, and to see how film directors both adapt a play dating back to 1600 to their own cultural context and time, while still transmitting its timeless pieces of thought on human nature.

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Heures d'enseignement

  • Shakespeare on screen: trans-cultural translations and distortions - CMCM12h
  • Shakespeare on screen: trans-cultural translations and distortions - TDTD6h