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10 Great Movie Adaptations from Shakespeare's Plays

If you're like me and you live in a place with no theaters, then watching the movies adapted from his works is a great way to celebrate the Bard's life.

By Karina ThyraPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

More is written about the great English playwright William Shakespeare and his works than what he has written himself; this article included!

If you're like me and you live in a place with no theaters, and find it quite tedious to read Shakespeare's plays alone, then watching the movies adapted from his works is a great way to celebrate the Bard's life.

Probably one of the cutest rom-coms of all time, 10 Things I Hate About You is one of the movies that made us fall in-love with the Australian hottie, Heath Ledger. This movie just makes us swoon because of Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger's undeniable on-screen chemistry. This was also the movie that catapulted Stiles, Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt from TV success to the big screen.

A terrifyingly good thriller. In this movie, we see Richard (Ian McKellen)'s descent to madness as he yearns for the crown. The final scene in the movie is just brilliant, even though it did give me nightmares for a few days. To superhero fans who haven't seen this film yet - watch it. Watch how Magneto had Iron Man killed.

Ths film is an abridged version of the 'greatest love story ever told' with slight changes in which members belong to which family (Gregory and Sampson were Capulets but changed to Montagues in the movie; vice-versa with Abra[m] and Petruchio). It retained the original Shakespearean dialog and is still one heck of a great romantic-tragedy movie. It's time for a re-watch - even just for young Leo DiCaprio.

Though the play is somewhat antisemitic, Al Pacino's portrayal of the Jewish money lender Shylock is really a character you love to hate. He is a tragic antihero, and was defeated due to his flaws. You will understand where he's coming from: he's abused and ridiculed by Christians in Venice, his daughter ran off with a Christian, and as if to add insult to the injury, he was also made to convert to Christianity. The film doesn't really focus much on the merchant, but to Shylock - the more prominent character.

Ah, a classic rom-com. One can't speak of this without revealing too much of the plot. Expect matchmaking, interrupted weddings, and you probably can't watch this without thinking of a Gilderoy Lockhart and Sybill Trelawney fan fiction.

Who could ever forget Sir Kenneth Branagh's 1989 film, Henry V? More so, the famous speech he made on Saint Crispin's Day, shortly before he led his troops to Agincourt?

If that didn't inspire you to win a battle, I don't know what will.

Kenneth Branagh and Shakespeare go so well together. This film is the first unabridged theatrical version of the play, running for over four hours. It was lauded by critics and received four Academy Award nominations. However, it wasn't a box office success. It grossed over $5 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million.

If you've seen She's The Man - which is a modernized adaptation inspired by this Shakespeare play - the central plot is almost the same. Only, in my opinion, this 1996 film is funnier and more elaborate.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are characters we all love to hate. They're people easily swayed and corrupted. However, personally, it was hard for me to hate Macbeth and his wife because they were played by amazing actors that were truly born to play their roles. Fassbender and Cotillard made me justify their characters' actions, even though their doings border on heinousness.

Sure, this rom-com has some of historical inaccuracies, making it really a 'romantic comedy of errors'. This film won 7 Academy Awards and comparing it to rom-coms in the early 2000s to the present, Shakespeare In Love is funny, sexy, and unique.

Shakespeare was indeed a brilliant playwright and we owe him a lot of phrases (and words) that we still use in modern language. However, herein lies the question after my list: to watch or not to watch?

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About the Creator

Karina Thyra

Fangirl of sorts.

Twitter: @ArianaGsparks

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    Karina ThyraWritten by Karina Thyra

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