Shakespeare's seven great tragedies contain unmistakable elements that set them apart from any other plays ever written. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare embodied in the character of Juliet the world's most impressive representation ever of a woman in love. With Julius Caesar, the great playwright produced a drama of astonishing and perpetual relevance. In Hamlet, Shakespeare created a character with the most brilliant mind in all of literature. And the character of Iago in Othello has been the very archetype of the villain ever since. King Lear presents audiences with unparalleled emotional and intellectual demands. Macbeth is a play of ruthless economy in which Shakespeare forces his audience into intimate sympathy with a man not far from being a mass murderer. Finally, in Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare created something entirely new: a vast political and historical conspectus involving the whole world.
The different versions of Hamlet constitute one of the most vexing puzzles in Shakespeare studies. In this groundbreaking work, Shakespeare scholar Terri Bourus argues that this puzzle can only be solved by drawing on multiple kinds of evidence and analysis, including book and theatre history, biography, performance studies, and close readings.
Considered by many the finest screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s greatest work, Grigori Kozintsev’s HAMLET is a spare, haunting interpretation based on a translation by novelist Boris Pasternak. The malevolence afoot in the state of Denmark is magnificently captured by the foreboding black and white cinematography and the dark, dramatic score by composer Dmitri Shostakovich. In addition, acclaimed Russian actors Innokenti Smoktunovsky and Anastasia Vertinskaya offer stellar, award-winning performances. Kozintsev, a peer of Eisenstein’s who worked well into the 1960s, was a master of cinematic technique who finally achieved recognition at the end of his career for his stunning interpretations of Shakespeare. Leading film historian Richard Dyer wrote in the Boston Globe: "Paradoxically, the two most powerful films of Shakespeare plays [HAMLET and KING LEAR] were made not in Great Britain but in the Soviet Union."
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, learns of his father's murder by his uncle and plots revenge. A masterful adaptation of Shakespeare's play with a memorable score by Dmitri Shostakovich. In Russian with English subtitles.