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The volume offers a new method of interpreting screen adaptations of Shakespearean drama, focusing on the significance of cinematic genres in the analysis of films adapted from literary sources. The book’s central argument is rooted in the recognition that film genres may provide the most important context informing a film’s production, critical and popular reception. The novelty of the volume is in its use of a genre-based interpretation as an organising principle for a systematic interpretation of Shakespeare film adaptations. The book also highlights Shakespearean elements in several lesser-known films, hoping to generate new critical attention towards them. The volume is organised into six chapters, discussing films that form broad generic groups. Part I comprises three genres from the classical Hollywood era (western, melodrama and gangster noir), while Part II deals with three contemporary blockbuster genres (teen film, undead horror and the biopic). The analyses underline elements that the films have inherited from Shakespeare, while emphasising how the adapting genre leaves a more important mark on the final product than the textual source. The volume’s interdisciplinary approach means that its findings are rooted in both Shakespeare and media studies, underlining the crucial role genres play in the production and reception of literature as well as in contemporary popular visual culture.

Representing the supernatural in film adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gayle Allan

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the most often-performed Shakespeare plays, and one of his most popular comedies. 1 It is also a favourite of film directors, with a number of adaptations made since its first known appearance on the silver screen in 1909. 2 The play's popularity is due in no small part to the supernatural elements in the play, and more particularly the supernatural beings that populate it – the

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
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The elephant in the graveyard
John Drakakis

the processes of adaptation, appropriation and emendation to which some of the previously printed materials found their way into Shakespeare’s texts. This is emphatically not a question of reassembling the bones in the elephants’ graveyard, but of tracking the movements of the live elephant as it traversed an already populated terrain that included oral and printed material, elements of a living tradition and fragments that could be refurbished, updated and appropriated for the present purposes of playing. We may add to that

in Shakespeare’s resources
Abstract only
John Drakakis

’. 20 Similarly, although the genealogy of the much later Pericles remains speculative, 21 Mowat’s aim is to evolve a precedent literary authority for the play and to assert it as a paradigm case for the primarily linear trajectory of the text as it has come down to us. This is not to challenge the claim that, as the Nashe example indicates, texts frequently evolve by means of adaptation and/or appropriation, from precedent texts, and in the case of Pericles the Chorus of Gower indicates a conscious strategy of seeking

in Shakespeare’s resources
Theatre, form, meme and reciprocity
John Drakakis

‘history’ that was not initially English. Saxo Grammaticus’s prose narrative was written in Latin and was therefore available only to a very small reading public. Even so, the path it followed into Elizabethan and possibly early modern European culture offers some insight into the processes of adaptation, appropriation and emphasis that the story underwent as it passed from one epoch to the next. To this extent, ‘source’ as an analytical category becomes less and less relevant, since what is important here is the nature and manner of

in Shakespeare’s resources
John Drakakis

, but in Plutarch he found one exception to his general rule. The ‘more perceptive’ T.S. Eliot was more to Bullough’s liking, although his proviso that ‘we must, if we go into the matter at all, inform ourselves of the exact proportion of invention, borrowing, and adaptation in the plot’ (my italics). 74 Touchstone’s ‘ if ’ serves Eliot well here. But Bullough’s paraphrase of an Italian Marxist philosopher, Benedetto Croce, reinforces the bold but not altogether novel quest for ‘the moment of vision’ (origin), ‘the

in Shakespeare’s resources
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Shakespeare, Jonson and the circulation of theatrical ideas
John Drakakis

imitated – indeed, engaged in – the practice of ‘taking over blank verse and dramatic patterns’ from ‘academic drama’. 18 When dramatists such as Ben Jonson in Catiline ‘extracted from Cicero’s orations’, they either assimilated the borrowed material or they were guilty of ‘patching’; that is to say they could be accused of ‘servile borrowing’ on the one hand, or, on the other, be lauded for ‘accomplished adaptation’. 19 The ‘trafficking’ that Clare identifies projects these practices into the

in Shakespeare’s resources
John Drakakis

authorities. The implication of Clare’s title is that the circulation of social energy derived its power from the rivalry between theatre companies, and that it was this competition that fuelled the appetite for plays in much the same way as commodities circulate in modern market conditions. The ‘traffic’ that Clare isolates refers to the passage of plays across the early modern stage, and the manner in which they transported ancillary texts either through imitation, or adaptation and appropriation (‘borrowing’). The

in Shakespeare’s resources
Abstract only
John Drakakis

recent Greek Tragic Women on Shakespearean Stages (2017) Tanya Pollard makes a very persuasive, though not entirely original, case for the acknowledgement of the influence on Shakespeare of Euripides, who had been recognised by Longinus to have absorbed ‘the inspiration of Homer, Aeschylus, and Sophocles before him’, and whose dramatic innovations, handed down to the sixteenth century through translation, led to borrowing and adaptation. 50 Pollard’s claim is that Euripides ‘attracted a striking degree of female interest

in Shakespeare’s resources
John Drakakis

. In the case of the practising dramatist, his (usually his) identity placed him at a meeting point of converging texts, where translation, adaptation, editing and innovating, expanding existing memes, creating new ones, all appear to have been part of the normal practice of composition. Beyond those texts there were other cultural pressures that are less easy to position, even though they may leave textual traces, but that were brought to bear on questions of subject matter, theme and the whole process of representation

in Shakespeare’s resources