Elisabeth Bronfen
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Shakespeare’s spectres
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The chapter begins by exploring the use Westworld makes of quotations from Hamlet to discuss the way Shakespeare haunts this serial TV drama in the manner of a ghost, a spectral presence. The chapter then moves to a set of quotations from Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, uttered by a malfunctioning host. By crossmapping both plays with Westworld, what is at stake is the way these citations bring with them some of the concerns shaped in the plays from which they originated, notably the relationship between the exploitative power of theater in The Tempest and the equation of violent delights and violent ends in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare is shown to write the prototypical American myth, the frontier, in its digital refiguration.

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Serial Shakespeare

An infinite variety of appropriations in American TV drama


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