Frank Herbert’s “Dune” And Its Film Adaptations Essay Example

Introduction

Dune by Frank Herbert was one of the most expected film adaptations for decades. It is an epic science fiction franchise that consists of six novels and a short story written over twenty-two years starting in 1963. The fandom that Dune earned over the years is huge, even though it did not have a deserved film adaptation until 2021.

The story behind adaptations is long and sad because of many failed attempts, including the 1984 David Lynch movie and the 2000 John Harisson miniseries. It was considered “unfilmable” and unable to adapt in any visual form because of the deepness of the lore and fantastic fictitious creatures, locations, etc. After almost sixty years of waiting, the fans received the film adaptation they wanted, directed by Danny Villeneuve with a sufficient budget to produce incredible CGI and visual effects, Oscar-winning original music created by Hans Zimmer, and a star cast in the face of Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and others.

Brainstorming

While I agree with the film critic Mark Kermode about “Danny Villeneuve riding the sinewy worm of Herbert’s sacred text with aplomb,” the movie seems not enough for new heights (Kermode, para 9). Kermode’s main ideas about this adaptation are that it has great visuals, and it was the right decision to make it the first part of the series of movies. I agree with these statements, but at the same time, I think this movie is not accessible to new viewers, and the setting is not suitable for a movie adaptation.

Villeneuve created a stronghold of fan service with his adaptation of Dune. Kermode states that before that movie was released in 2021, “it seemed that the 2013 documentary about the failure to make a great film out of Herbert’s novel was the greatest film ever about Dune” (para 1). And that is true because, in addition to unsuccessful attempts to adapt this movie that saw the world, many of them were canceled for valid reasons. One of their most famous examples is Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film project. For many decades this unreleased movie was considered the most ambitious attempt to adapt the novel and even the greatest unmade film ever. Jodorowsky wanted to create fourteen hours-long psychedelic space operas with Pink Floyd and Magma music. He planned to cast Mick Jagger as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Orson Welles as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. He also planned to cast Salvador Dali as Shadam IV that agreed to play his only speaking role as an actor for a hundred thousand dollars per hour payment. His son Brontis should have played the main protagonist Paul Atreides.

The 2021 Dune cast does not include the singer of one of the best rock bands in the history of rock and one of the prominent surrealism representatives. However, it is good enough to show the story without distraction. The actors play their roles and demonstrate the novel in new colors. Kermode states in his review that it is wise to “sensibly tackle only one manageable section of the story” and position it as only the beginning. However, the beginning of the saga looks blurry for new viewers. The movie is full of unknown characters and their connections that viewers cannot understand without knowing the world of Dune before watching. It is hard to find fault in the adaptation of Villeneuve because it is pictured great with perfect music, excellent actors, and a fantastic director and his team’s work. This movie is a celebration of fan service, but it is hard to watch if the viewer is not a Herbert reader. It is impossible to tell if this movie series will succeed, but Villeneuve did excellent work adapting this novel under lock and key.

As Kermode mentions, the film’s plot is well illustrated by the director and co-writers Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts. They created “clear plot lines that accent the contemporary colonial parallels” (Kermode, para 5). However, the story lacks connections between characters that grab the audience. Dune feels like a perfect film adaptation of Herbert’s novel created by artificial intelligence. It is the same with the characters that make an impression that after the victory over machines, people became like them. Maybe that is what a future without machines will be like. The visual part of the movie is on top with the help of Paul Lambert and his team. Kermode says that “the giant sandworms that splash through deserts like eels through water are no longer silly but instead spectacular.” In the movie, Jason Momoa’s character Duncan Idaho noted that “dreams make good stories, but everything important happens when we are awake” (Villeneuve). Herbert’s Dune is a wonderful sci-fi world that inspired many other cinematic universes like Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Mad Max. Maybe the adaptation of such a classic cannot be perfect for everyone.

Conclusion

To conclude, the Dune film adaptation by Danny Villeneuve is the most accurate and successful movie based on Herbert’s novels in many senses. He skillfully demonstrated the world of Dune, its people, rulers, their subordinates, and the life of all of them. It is not perfect, but maybe Herbert’s stories are not for movies with new heights and audiences. However, nothing in this world is perfect, which is why this adaptation deserves attention.

Although Kermode’s claim regarding Dune being an excellent adaptation is quite substantiated, it appears that Kermode’s critique omits the narrative flaws in the representation of the book and the lack of adjustments needed to translate the story into a movie narrative seamlessly and makes it more palatable to new viewers.

Works Cited

Dune. Directed by Dannie Villeneuve, Warner Bros., 2021.

Kermode, Mark. “Dune review – Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic gets off to an electrifying start.” Review of Dune, directed by Dannie Villeneuve. The Guardian, 2021.

Shakespeare’s “King Lear” Play: A Long Analysis

Introduction

The works by William Shakespeare are characterized by tragic humanism and both internal and external conflicts. His plays can be considered the pinnacle of the evolution of English drama that significantly influenced the development of world literature and culture. In this regard, Shakespeare’s King Lear embodies the main attributes of the Shakespearean tragedy. This work not only represents the king’s family issues but also reflects the global political and social challenges of the era. According to Baysal, “King Lear (1608) exhibits how the error of judgement, the interference of fate, and the presence of evil brings one’s downfall” (26). Shakespeare’s King Lear is characterized by several distinctive tragic elements such as a tragic hero, tragic villains, disorder, fate, revenge, and death.

Summary

The plot of Shakespeare’s play King Lear is based on the story of the legendary King Lear, who had three daughters and decided to retire and divide his kingdom and power among them. He asked them to demonstrate their love for him to determine who should receive the most of the king’s land. The two older daughters, Goneril and Regan, lavished praise on him, while the youngest one, Cordelia, was unable to express her deep love with words. The king, enraged with her silence, banished his youngest daughter and gave her land to his older children (Shakespeare 1.1.114). The King of France married Cordelia nonetheless, while the tension between the daughters and the king began to exacerbate the political situation in the kingdom.

Eventually, King Lear’s older daughters began to plot against him. Soon after the division of the kingdom, Goneril and Regan showed their true colors and forced King Lear to flee (Shakespeare 2.4.87). Earl of Kent and Fool joined him, and in the end, the king’s youngest daughter learned about the misfortune that had happened to him. She initiated a war against her sisters, where Cordelia’s soldiers fought the armies of Regan and Goneril. However, she lost the battle and was captured and imprisoned along with King Lear. In turn, Regan was poisoned by Goneril out of envy, who eventually killed herself. Cordelia was executed for treason, and King Lear died of sorrow, unable to accept his youngest daughter’s tragic death. In his play, Shakespeare weaved a storyline of the Earl of Gloucester and his illegitimate son Edmund, who did not want to accept his inferior position. Edmond decided to slander Gloucester’s legitimate son, Edgar, and eventually killed him in a duel.

Elements of Tragedy

A Tragic Hero

As can be seen, the tragic hero, King Lear, suffers the consequences of his rash and arrogant behavior displayed at the beginning of the play. Overall, the division of his kingdom is based on blinded judgment and lack of responsibility. The king wants to keep his authority while giving away his property, which demonstrates a lack of understanding of power. Moreover, he measures his daughters’ love by their words and not by actions. As noted by Al Jawad et al., the main character’s “willingness to believe his older daughters’ empty flattery leads to the deaths of many people” (36). He is unable to notice and appreciate Cordelia’s love and loyalty, which eventually results in her death. King Lear’s fate, suffering, and death are the attributes that characterize him as a tragic hero as a string of poor decisions led the king to his inevitable fall.

Another prominent characteristic of King Lear that portrays him as a tragic hero is his ability to recognize errors and learn from mistakes. As King Lear describes himself as “a poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man,” he begins to see his status more clearly (Shakespeare 3.2.19-20). He becomes aware of the needs of the poor and regrets not caring for them properly during his time as a king. Such a transformation and the display of empathy show King Lear’s evolution as a tragic hero, who initially was a prideful and selfish ruler but realized his mistakes. He recognized the value of Cordelia’s “nothing,” which meant more than her sisters’ praise (Shakespeare 1.1.96). Overall, the tragedy of King Lear lies in the fact that his severe punishment and ill fate are too cruel compared to the mistakes he made.

Tragic Villains

Another element that characterizes Shakespeare’s play as a tragedy is the presence of tragic villains. The playwright introduces evil characters who have malicious intents to According to oppose positive characters. According to Al Jawad et al., “Edmund, Regan, and Goneril embody avarice, envy, anger, lust, and pride, while Edgar and Cordelia embody faithfulness and unconditional love” (35). Edmund describes himself as a villain as he states, “I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing” (Shakespeare 1.2.138-140). At the same time, while Edmund is depicted as an antagonist, he is attractive and intelligent. Edmund’s wit is obvious from the way he manipulates his brother and father. Furthermore, the readers sympathize with him due to his status as the illegitimate child, which deprives him of equal rights with his brother and makes him a tragic antihero.

Similarly, Goneril and Regan display harsh and selfish behavior that reveals their true nature. For instance, Regan is cruel towards Gloucester as she demands to “hang him instantly” (Shakespeare 3.7.3). However, they can be considered victims of their father’s irresponsibility and hot temper. Moreover, King Lear’s preference for Cordelia over the other two daughters contributes to their suffering and eventual death. Therefore, the older sisters are two other tragic antiheroes in Shakespeare’s work.

Disorder

Another tragic component of Shakespeare’s King Lear is a disorder that can be observed in various aspects of this play. The disastrous events begin with the king’s decision to divide his kingdom and develop as his rage intensifies after Cordelia’s unsatisfactory reply to his request to demonstrate her love. King Lear’s words “nothing will come of nothing” embody the essence of this play (Shakespeare 1.1.96). The unreasonable and chaotic actions of the main character lead to his own banishment and loss of power. Baysal notes that “the climax happens with Cordelia’s death as Lear holds her lifeless body in his arms” (28). As a result of the king’s mistakes, the whole kingdom nearly collapses into chaos and disorder. As argued by Baysal, “this is the humane condition the play conveyed through the tragic ending mainly caused by Lear’s faulty judgement, which bears similarity to Shakespeare’s another great tragedy, Othello” (28). Furthermore, the weather is a reflection of the devastating events as a storm accompanies King Lear in his fleeing. Overall, the play’s world is characterized by an opposition between children and parents, sisters and brothers.

Fate

Justice does not prevail, and punishments often exceed the wrongdoings in Shakespeare’s King Lear. Therefore, it can be concluded that fate does not favor either evil or good characters, which emphasizes the tragic element of this play. There are different viewpoints on the role of destiny in King Lear. For instance, Edmund believes in being the creator of his own fate, while Earl of Kent suggests that stars determine the events that occur in the human world. As Albany exclaims, “the gods defend her” in the hope that Cordelia will avoid ill fate, Lear carries her dead body, which emphasizes the lack of divine interference in human affairs (Shakespeare 3.5.306). While some characters believe in gods, the disorder and chaos suggest that there is little interest in human lives as killings and bloodshed occur in the kingdom. Therefore, fate is a complicated element of the tragedy in Shakespeare’s King Lear. Human errors rather than divine interference affect the outcomes for the play’s characters.

Revenge

The theme of revenge is another crucial element that is central to the plot and characterizes Shakespeare’s King Lear as a tragedy. In particular, it can be noted that social injustices and lack of fairness affected the development of several characters. Edmund was labeled by society as a bastard, which contributed to his desire to bring justice and kill his brother, who was more privileged. Similarly, Goneril and Regan were not treated equally since King Lear favored his youngest daughter, which filled his older children with envy and resulted in the king’s tragic end. Furthermore, social rules and stereotypes played an essential role in Shakespeare’s play at another level. A patriarchal order in the kingdom contributed to Regan and Goneril’s desire for power and control over their own lives. Overall, the vengeful behavior of the play’s characters is both the cause and effect of the tragic events.

Death

Finally, death is another tragic element of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Most of the characters die throughout the play, which creates a gloomy atmosphere on the stage. In this regard, Vikramsinh emphasizes the resemblance between Shakespeare’s and Greek plays’ characters, where “the end of all their suffering is death” (23). Both noble and malicious people die in the play, which emphasizes that no one is immune to a tragic end, regardless of their actions. It can be seen that both heroes and antiheroes suffer and eventually die in King Lear, which determines the tragic nature of Shakespeare’s plays.

Finally, death is another tragic element of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Most of the characters die throughout the play, which creates a gloomy atmosphere on the stage. In this regard, Vikramsinh emphasizes the resemblance between Shakespeare’s and Greek plays’ characters, where “the end of all their suffering is death” (23). Both noble and malicious people die in the play, which emphasizes that no one is immune to a tragic end, regardless of their actions. It can be seen that both heroes and antiheroes suffer and eventually die in King Lear, which determines the tragic nature of Shakespeare’s plays.

Conclusion

To conclude, King Lear by Shakespeare includes such tragic elements as a tragic hero, tragic villains, disorder, fate, revenge, and death. Throughout the play, the reader observes how the king’s poor decisions change the dynamics of his whole life and affect the people around him. Shakespeare’s work demonstrates how human errors can lead to disorder and chaos. The analysis of this literary work can help explore the core aspects of a Shakespearean tragedy.

Works Cited

Al Jawad, Ahmed. S. H., et al. “Shakespearean’s Tragedy: A Descriptive Study on King Lear by William Shakespeare.” Journal of World Englishes and Educational Practices, vol. 3, no. 5, 2021, pp. 28-38. JWEEP, doi:10.32996/jweep.2021.3.5.3.

Baysal, Kübra. “The Role of Erroneous Judgement, Providence and Evil in Shakespeare’s King Lear.” The Journal of International Social Research, vol. 13, no. 74, 2020, pp. 26-32.

Shakespeare, William. The History of King Lear: The Oxford Shakespeare. Edited by Stanley Wells, Oxford UP, 2008.

Vikramsinh, Jadeja D. “‘King Lear’: The Exposition of not only the Tragedy of Lear but also The Tragedy of Human Life.” International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, vol. 5, no. 1, 2018, pp. 23-24.

Performance Management System: Personal Experience

The performance management system is an efficient instrument allowing to achieve great practical results. I was an employee in the organization in which this system was applied. The strategic, information, administrative, developmental, and documentation criteria were preserved. The managers transparently stated the company’s objectives helping employees to comply with the values and aims established by the employer. Such a system impacted my work as an employee, allowing me to feel more relaxed in terms of taking fewer responsibilities for making decisions. Working in an organization that clearly defines the actions the employee needs to perform is easy. Considering the negative impacts, the lack of freedom and too strict control can be highlighted, which significantly increased work dissatisfaction. From my perspective, their performance management system lacks organizational maintenance competency. It would be more rational to distribute the work based on the talent inventory. Such an approach may help prevent job-related dissatisfaction and anxiety.

Table 1-1 Purposes Served by a Performance Management System: Compliance

Strategic: The strategy included a high level of control over employees and strict work distribution. It allowed managers to control the organizational activities more efficiently.

Administrative: The managers’ decisions regarding the employees were supported at the administration level.

Informational: Every employee was aware of precise tasks to perform within the organization. Even though this positively affects the general performance, it limits creativity.

Developmental: Managers supported employees from the very first day of their work, providing necessary information and practical help.

Organizational Maintenance: This criterion was not preserved due to the lack of talent inventory and rational human resource management.

Documentation: The profound level of organizational documentation can be highlighted. There always were the documents helping to make administrative decisions. The managers implemented different approaches focused on testing the general development of the company.

Mission Statement

The statement chosen for the analysis vision is taken from TED’s website. TED is an organization devoted to spreading ideas through various conferences where the researcher can present their result in the form of talks. The organization is famous for various innovation initiatives such as TED Prizes, TED Women conferences, TED-Ed short lectures, and others. The profound management and outstanding vision statement unite people worldwide, motivated to spread their ideas.

TED’s mission statement is formulated as follows, “spreading ideas.” It complies with all criteria of the good vision statement. This mission statement is free of time limits allowing people to understand the motivation of the organization. The phrase is highly inspiring and verifiable, which contributes to the transparent organization’s values representation. The mission statement is vital in forming the performance management system (Alegre et al., 2018). In the current case, the brief-phrase implicitly defines the organizational objectives and norms, which is the basis for designing the performance evaluation system. From my perspective, for now, changes of the organizational vision of TED are unnecessary. However, it would probably be rational to change the mission statement throughout the long period of striving to implement some new ideas to the organization’s ideology.

Table 3-5 Characteristics of Good Vision Statements: Compliance

Brief: TED’s vision statement consists of two words which makes it catching. It is easy to remember due to the brief and, at the same time, informative form.

Verifiable: This criterion means that the vision statement defines the working process of the whole organization. Spreading ideas is the main activity on which the organization is centered. TED unites researchers from all over the world, allowing them to express their scientific ideas.

Bound by a timeline: There is no timeline presented within the discussed vision statement. However, based on the grammatical form of the phrase, it is evident that the time limits are absent. This vision statement is universally suitable for any time period of the organization’s functioning.

Current: The vision statement is consistent with activities performed by the organization and its initial aims.

Focused: The organization’s mission statement highlights the primary goals. Reading this statement, one can clearly understand that the organization was designed to unite people through ideas.

Understandable: The organization strives to share the ideas of the scientific research through the talks. The vision statement clearly and accurately states this idea.

Inspiring: The organization’s value statement motivates people to unite with others because gaining knowledge and personal development process is directly connected with understanding others. TED’s mission statement is highly inspiring for the workers and listeners.

A stretch: The organizational mission statement represents TED’s ideology highlighting the primary values. The brief statement inspires the whole company workers emphasizing the deep meaning related to the importance of knowledge and experience.

Current Position

In my current position as HR Generalist at an Automotive Finance Company, the general performance is measured by the practical results of the company’s performance. Managers collect the data systematically based on each department’s performance. In other words, the performance is measured by the results. The following examples of the performance measurements can be observed within my organization: quantitative measurements of the costs, production, and error rates. The changes to the way performance are measured, which I can suggest include the estimation of the employees’ satisfaction level through the regular testing. Such an approach requires the measurements of the performance by behaviors. It would be rational to combine two types of measures (by the results and behaviors) to achieve a high level of productivity. This criterion may help better analyze the human resource potential, which will result in the increased performance and motivation of the workers.

Reference

Alegre, I., Berbegal-Mirabent, J., Guerrero, A., & Mas-Machuca, M. (2018). The real mission of the mission statement: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Management & Organization, 24(4), 456-473.

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