Elisabeth Bronfen
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Appropriation, dislocation, and crossmapping
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The introduction begins by drawing attention to the ubiquitous presence of Shakespeare in contemporary TV drama and then turns to an engagement with the critical scholarship regarding his adaptation and appropriation in new media. It addresses the fact that what is unique about this study is that the TV shows to be discussed offer a revisitation and rereading of his plays that transform these into something different without making any claim to fidelity. At the same time, two different aspects regarding this transhistorical and transmedial dialogue are drawn into focus. On the one hand, contemporary TV drama cites and resignifies Shakespeare. On the other hand, a critical reading, having noticed this exchange, or rather discovered a line of connection between the two, can profit from it. The critical concept proposed for this hermeneutic process is crossmapping. The overarching claim is that despite the historical distance and the difference in dramatic format, Shakespeare’s aesthetic formalisation of intense passions are still a barometer for what can be shaped, thought and performed today, not least of all because we are again thinking, writing and living in a period of interim.

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