Watching Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 version of Hamlet seemed to be a daunting task due to the length; however, sitting down and watching, the time seemed to go by quite fast. I found Branagh’s version to be captivating and exciting.
Act five scene one of Branagh’s version grabbed my attention in how dark this scene is. Going back to look at Franco Zeffirelli’s version, there is a distinct difference between the two directors interpretations. Branagh as Hamlet stating the well-known speech “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him Horatio” (5.1.165-66), adds a much more dark and emotional tone. The lighting, the delivery of the dialogue, and the music adds to the dark emotional state that Hamlet is in.
Watching the film, as well as reading the text, I noticed how this line is often misquoted. I was waiting for the “well” at the end of “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him”, but soon realized this was not the way Shakespeare wrote it.
Below is also a picture of my annotated text of Miola’s edition of Hamlet, specifically act two, scene two when Hamlet meets with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.