michaelgriffith (michaelgriffith) wrote,
michaelgriffith
michaelgriffith

Shakespeare Unit- more for Week 1

I was really glad to be able to show you those clips from two versions of Twelfth Night. These scenes give so much insight into the core issues of the play as a whole and here we had two very different interpretations. The Trevor Nunn version (with Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter) really explores the fool's function as wise sage, seeing into the odd drama of human life and expressing his wise insights through song, gesture and his personal appearance. The Kenneth Branagh version, with Richard Briers and Caroline Langrishe, was stronger in its depiction of the underlying emotions in the relationship between Count Orsino and Cesario/ Viola. Staying faithful to the text- as this second version did- allowed the full impact of Shakespeare's imagery to tell its story. As I said in tutorials. These two scenes gave good examples of the following: the clash of "languages" (bawdy, riotous vs formal, romantic); the theme of youth versus age; that nature of male and female in their capacity for love- and the presence of homosexual love; the challenge to puritan authority through the iconoclastic fun loving Sir Toby (watch out for a repetition of this in Henry IV's Falstaff); the powerful function of the fool as an implicit commentator on the "giddy" affairs of human beings. He stands aside from the world's stage and watches us all play our "foolish" part!
So much in such a few screen shots/ pages....
It would be good if you could see either of these versions in their entirety... or if anyone is interested we could set up a time to screen either film on campus... any suggestions for this?
MG

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