Kenneth Branagh's added soliloquie : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

Just wondering, this is for my English Dissertation.

Does anyone have any ideas on why Kenneth Branagh added a new soliloquy in his 1996 version of Hamlet, in Act 111 Scene 111 before Polonius and the King plan the deceiving of Hamlet by Polonius listening into the conversation between him and his mother?

Please give any ideas

-- Joanne Kennedy (, February 16, 2003


Kenneth Branagh did what!? He moved the soliloquy, "'Tis now the very witching time of night..." to AFTER Claudius' "I like him not" scene. It normally comes just prior to this at the tail end of the play scene, after "Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?" Is this what you are talking about? Adding a new sololiquy? Eh?

-- Patrick Walker (, February 16, 2003.

Sorry got it mixed, watched the movie again and followed the book more closely and saw that he just moved it, but since he wanted to be so true to Shakespeare's text why do you think he moved this part?

-- Joanne (, February 17, 2003.

He also moved the speech of Hamlet's in Act I Scene IV: "Angels and ministers of grace defend us". I don't know why he moved this speech since it is much more dramatically and emotionally potent to be left where it belongs, at Hamlet's first sighting of the ghost. I suppose, Joanne, working in film, which is an entirely different medium alltogether, Branagh found that this slight change of speech was to his advantage. Obviously in film one can afford quick, short scene changes, skipping from one character and location to the next. On stage one hasn't got this "advantage" thus the short speech of Hamlet's came at the end of the play scene, which is also a fucking great ending for the whole of Scene II.

-- Patrick Walker (, February 19, 2003.

Just a shot in the dark: scholars say _Hamlet_ was the most reworked and revised of all Shakespeare's plays, with some variations still extant. Perhaps Branagh went with one of these different versions? I seem to recall reading that there's a version where the "To be or not to be" lines are put in a different location.

Incidentally, as I recall, the Branagh version modernized the word "portenpine" to our version ("porcupine") in the speech given by the Ghost ("qulls upon the fretful portenpine").

-- Chris Butler (, April 18, 2003.

He changed / moved a couple of things. Perhaps he was most bold with having Laertes say, "That I shall live and tell him to his teeth / Thus diest thou" instead of, "Thus didst thou" or, "Thus diddest thou."

-- Sean Lynch (, August 26, 2003.

But most outrageous of all Kenneth Branagh gave Polonius more lines than he should be credited with! Oh yes! In Act II Scene ii of Branagh's film version Richard Brier's is given the extra word: "Ophelia" when he calls Kate Winslet to read Hamlet's letter before the King and Queen! Whatever next!? I bet the purists were shitting their pants in rage at this one. Bill Shakey would turn in his fucking grave.

-- Patrick Walker (, August 26, 2003.

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