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According to WebsterÆs (2001), the word adaptation in the artistic sense of the word equates to ôA written work that has been recast in a new form.ö According to this definition, both Michael AlmereydaÆs film Hamlet and Tom StoppardÆs play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead represent an adaptation. In the strictest sense, AlmereydaÆs screen adaptation more closely follows the above definition than StoppardÆs play. This is because AlmereydaÆs film recast ShakespeareÆs Hamlet in a new form, while StoppardÆs work takes two characters from Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and expands on and develops their characters using original dialogue and pieces from ShakespeareÆs Hamlet. Thus, formally speaking, AlmereydaÆs work is more consistent with adaptation than StoppardÆs.

AlmereydaÆs Hamlet drastically cuts a great deal of dialogue and scenes from ShakespeareÆs original, and, alas, poor Yorik does not make the cut. However, Almereyda uses creativity and imagination by changing the setting to modern day corporate New York. Hamlet, played by Ethan Hawke, is a student film maker and the son of the CEO of Denmark Corporation. His father is murdered by his younger brother, Claudius, who becomes the new CEO of Denmark Corporation. The film does an excellent job of transplanting ShakespeareÆs original into contemporary society, but at certain points it goes too far. It is difficult to watch and nearly makes one wince to hear ôTo be or not to beö from the aisles of a Blockbuster Video store, or to hear Ophelia told ôget thee to a nunneryö over an answering machine (Almereyda 2000). Other touches are clever though, such as HamletÆs fatherÆs ghost first being viewed by a video security camera, and his appearance to Hamlet through the glass of a high-rise office building. Likewise, the scene where Hamlet considers killing Claudius in the confessional in ShakespeareÆs play is effectively t


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Hamlet. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:37, December 06, 2021, from