By refusing to look at the lens, the actor denies both the existence of a recording device and the presence of the spectator, who can remain an unacknowledged, secret voyeur. Penguin Books, , pp. On the one hand, they reflect the image that one expects to see; on the other hand, no one can see through the mysteries that they retain behind them. In , Garrick brought back a new technique from Europe. I am grateful to Kenneth Branagh who gave me permission to include extracts from his publications. The repeated showing of the Dance of Death in the film implies an endless repetition:

The visual metaphor is even more obvious at the start of the film which shows the end of the story. By refusing to look at the lens, the actor denies both the existence of a recording device and the presence of the spectator, who can remain an unacknowledged, secret voyeur. Finally, in the ellipsis, a period of time is entirely suppressed between two different actions: When Titus pleads for the life of his two sons, he is physically presented at the crossing of ancient Roman roads, reflecting a psychological turning point. The spectators intervened regularly during the performance, participating in the action with their own reactions. Parallel to this wave of Shakespeare films following the Hollywood canons, directors including Christine Edzard, Peter Greenaway and Adrian Noble continued the avant-garde and experimental tendency of the seventies and eighties. The film is accompanied by three documentaries on the making of the movie,24 by a screenplay and a diary relating almost day by day the events during the shooting. As opposed to the theatre, in which the stage is wholly perceived at every moment, cinema can disclose elements little by little to compose the action.

In klincksiec, respect, cinema strongly differs from theatre, a medium which is linked to the inexorable succession of time and hardly allows a turning back of the clock. In his screen adaptation of Twelfth Night, Trevor Nunn does not hesitate either to introduce reactions, but he inserts extradiegetic shots that do not chronologically belong to the sequence.

Shakespeare, from Stage to Screen

In Act iii, scene i, after his hand has been cut, Titus roars and laments close to Lavinia. Real life can never interfere with the reported action. Two-way mirrors are, by nature, double. While the Danish prince decides to mount a play to prove Claudius pa, he moves closer to a small model theatre.



The soldiers are seen crossing rivers, or falling into the mud with exhaustion. It would be tempting to study its effects on the audience with regard to proxemics, the science of face-to-face interactions elaborated by Edward T. Voice is as important as image.

Several stages, both historical and in terms of aesthetics, took place in the transition between the plays performed on the Elizabethan stage and their screen adaptations. Moreover, Branagh takes advantage of the techniques offered by klinclsieck cinema: The off-screen space can be constructed in several ways: Whereas in the theatre, you have the whole space.

During the first court scene, Hamlet refuses to show himself. Kliman has noticed this particular phenomenon in this Henry V: Several scenes are constructed around this contrast between old and new: This alternation conditions identification both with the king and his subjects.

Such an musiqud is very similar to the end of a chapter in filmm novel: As it follows a shot of the Ghost and not of Hamlet, it is legitimate to wonder what the nature of this flashback is.

Some men in a spaceship land on an unknown planet and discover a genius inventor there.

George Allen and Unwin,pp. As he promises himself to catch the conscience of Claudius, Hamlet releases a trapdoor on the tiny stage, making the model king disappear.

It was still based on a very strong relationship with the audience, and did not work in the mode of realism. Charles II allowed women to go on the stage: The characters move about in an imaginary world, but one which evokes the rise of fascism in the thirties in a very realistic way.

However, even if a film gives greater importance to diegesis, it remains a piece of discourse, assuming a speaker and a hearer, embodying beliefs and values, and governed by the ideological struggles that constitute the historical and social realities at the moment of production. I wish to thank Jude Tessel for being such a prompt and efficient proof-reader at the first stage of my writing, and Margaret Berrill for her diligent and astute copy-editing.

This lack of aesthetic fluidity generates an impression of time passing between each image, while reflecting the difficulty of writing experienced by an amateur, clumsy poet. Therefore, the passing of time is also evoked by a progression through space. Responses progressively move from threat and animosity to approval and support. Richard finally appears as a black exclamation mark in the colourful set, and walks towards the front of the screen.


In Henry V, the metadramatic character of the Chorus sums up whole pieces of history, hastens action or offers commentaries between two scenes, thus giving rise to narrative pauses. It is relatively easy to define what a screen adaptation is. They wish to bring some cinematic rhythm to a scene that should, supposedly, be static.

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The reduction of the thrust stage was coupled with the introduction of music and pictures. Finally, the filmic mode can be found in visually expressive films with extensive imagery and cinematic almost poetic skills, such as the Kincksieck or Welles appropriations.

Flashbacks of the murders Richard ordered and flashforwards of his own imminent death coalesce in a quasi-subliminal way to produce confusion, remorse and premonition all at the same time. Explicit images show Desdemona and Cassio making love, thus raising the problem of knowing if what is shown on screen has really taken place or not.

Special effects would progressively become less obvious and stylized, and would be designed to give a heightened impression of reality, thus eventually making the two aesthetic trends much harder to differentiate. In contradistinction to this, when the poet recites the text between the speeches, he speaks with his own voice, without pretending. The monologue ends in the most private space — the toilets. In his book, Looking at Shakespeare: Editing replaces blood by a powerful metaphor directly linked to the place of the murder.

On the other hand, the film of Hamlet plays on contrasts. Through the focus in space and the control of time that it implies, narration draws an itinerary of the gaze, imposing a trajectory within Shakespeare plays.