The Lion Of Denmark Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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the evil uncle Scar, no admonitions from Simba: “Nay, but to live / in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed / Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love / Over the nasty sty ” (3.4. 92-95). In fact, the entire Oedipal subplot which so captivated Freud has been dropped right out of the story. Hamlet offers the possibility of a dark side that the Walt Disney company has no wish to explore. Exposing children to sexual taboos is in itself taboo. Sarabi becomes a very minor character, as nurturer (but to a lesser extent than Mufasa himself) and then later as the head of a hunting pride. Other characters include Zazu, the king’s bird advisor, whose characterization resembles Polonius, and Nala, who as Simba’s childhood companion could be Horatio, but as Simba’s adult love

interest more resembles Ophelia. Neither Zazu nor Nala meet the tragic endings of their Shakespearean counterparts – since Disney only has one villain, they can only have two deaths: that of Mufasa to trigger the chain of events, and that of Scar to bring justice at the film’s end. There does not seem to be any Laertes; again, the film aimed at children can only justify the death of one villain at the end, and further, cannot leave a villain unpunished. Punishment is critical to the establishment of a clear moral in children’s stories. This also means that the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern counterparts, the hedonistic Timon and Pumbaa, cannot be traitorous, but are added to the story purely for the comic relief. They could also at times be seen as counterparts to the

gravedigging clowns of Act 5 Scene 1, arguing, teasing each other, using foreign words (”hakuna matata”), and taunting Simba. If any characters besides Scar can be considered villains, they are the hyenas who are invited in and allowed to live off the land. Perhaps they correspond with the army of Fortinbras, who are allowed by Claudius to move across the land and take food and supplies. Whether or not Fortinbras himself can be seen as a positive force in Hamlet is debatable. Regardless, this description of the hyenas as the Norwegian army is not quite accurate since they are at Scar’s side for most of the film. They do eliminate the need for “bad” characters like Polonius and Laertes as well as the spying Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Scar is shown raising an army

of hyenas from the elephant graveyard right before Mufasa’s murder. If we ignore this suggestion of mitiltia, then the hyenas are the unseen courtiers who must have supported Claudius’ ascension to the throne. The only character who appears to be problematic to the Hamlet parallel is that of Rafiki, the baboon mystic who urges Simba to meet his responsibilities and return to his kingdom. He represents the archetypal character of the Wise Old Man, and acts as a shaman within the film. This may have been added to lend credibility to the African setting. But Rafiki also links Simba to the ghost of Mufasa. He acts as a voice of responsibility similar to Simba’s own submerged guilty conscience. Because Simba cannot deliver any lengthy soliloquies, his inner struggle must be made

external, and what better way to do it than to have an all-knowing character confront him with his responsibilities? Rafiki is not the only character who does this – when Nala stumbles across Simba by accident while she hunts far from home, she also accuses him of shirking responsibility and challenges him to become more like Mufasa. No such role exists for Ophelia, but Hamlet could have been reprimanded by a character like Horatio had Shakespeare wished. The characterization of Hamlet as Simba is the most interesting one of all. We still have our Melancholy Prince, but he does not feign madness, and he chooses to blame himself for the old king’s death rather than blaming his evil uncle. This difference can be perhaps accounted for by the young age of the protagonist, versus

Hamlet’s experienced knowledge with regards to violence and hunger for power. When Scar causes the wildebeasts to stampede Mufasa and Simba, he only manages to kill one of them. In order to eliminate Simba and therefore take the throne, he convinces the young cub to run away and never return. In this sense, The Lion King is similar to Hamlet’s boarding a boat set for England with papers comissioning his own death (5.2 20-25). But Simba does not outsmart the hyenas who Scar commands to kill him, he merely outruns them. In exile, he meets Timon and Pumbaa who urge him to put his past behind him and live the good life. But try as he might, Simba cannot escape the guilt or the sense of responsibility that he feels. After Nala finds him living in paradise and ignoring the misery