our point of view, one of
the film’s themes is the conflict between the Spanish-derived
personality and the Anglo-Saxon, in New York as a city of immigrants.
Irene Dash has emphasised the historical moment when the original
musical was staged, suggesting that dividing society and countries into
polarised enemies was a conscious political strategy during the Cold War
in the 1950s: ‘the culture of fear
embarrassed by the play, sometimes apologetic
about what they see as its distasteful sexual morality and crude comedy.
But the fact remains that the play is embedded firmly in the popular repertory
and in countless film adaptations, always reflecting some attitudes to
equality and inequality current at the time of performance.
There are various possible explanations for the popularity.
The politics of the
of ‘marriage’. Although the cultural politics are very
different in the play, feminist critics in particular have pointed out
that Shylock shares with women an ‘outsider’ status
indicated in the need for Portia to disguise herself in order to
practise law, and that there is even a tradition of female actors
playing the role of the Jew. 19
In She’s the Man (2006), the original device
us, on the one hand, an influence
can be significant without being overt or explicit; on the
other, influence is by no means the only available intellectual
tool to hand. Circulating ideas, intellectual currents and
various kinds of political unconscious can mould epistemological
structures and provide a series of critical foci or contexts for
ostentatious ways, and they vary geographically
despite the increasing reach of globalism. However, the argument of this
chapter is that despite the economic, political, cultural, and
historical changes, some central, underlying motifs and patterns link
Shakespeare’s romantic comedies and Hollywood romantic comedies in
ways that are not entirely coincidental but rather a matter of
influence, in some cases
company of women. Immediately, four women appear on an
incidental political mission. Trying to keep to the spirit if not the
letter of their vow, the men ‘entertain’ the women al fresco
with witty badinage, invitations to dance, and game-playing disguise.
The playful spirit is received by the women ‘as bombast and as
lining to the time’, but emotional engagement is provocatively
left dangling by constant