Shakespeare Reloaded

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Vanessa Gerhards

Shakespeare Reloaded. The Shakespeare Renaissance 1989-2004

ISBN 978-3-86821-241-9, 232 S., kt., € 24,00 (2011)

(SALS - Studies in Anglophone Literatures, Bd. 36)

Ever since the first Shakespeare film was shown in 1899, the Bard has been an continuous source for adaptors. This highly productive relationship of Shakespeare and film reached its climax in the 1990s. Starting with Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V in 1989, a new wave of Shakespeare films flooded the big screen thus renewing the interest in this genre and reloading Shakespeare’s texts with new images. During the fifteen years following Branagh’s film, the face of Shakespeare films was changed profoundly due to the increased use of cinematic techniques to visualise the essence of the plays. As Douglas Lanier’s study states, Shakespeare increasingly became a part of modern popular culture and thus the plays were used as a basis for rather unusual films such as Tromeo and Juliet (1996) which were more parody than reverence to the Bard. This study examines the mechanisms at work during this period and analyses both the films and the relationship between the media involved. The adaptations are analysed with regard to their function within this Renaissance and their additions to the myth of Shakespeare on film. In order to structure the adaptations, a system of categories is introduced which highlights the meaning of each film for the Renaissance. Linda Hutcheon’s pluralistic approach to adaptation theory provides the theoretical basis for this analysis. Special emphasis is placed on Kenneth Branagh’s films as they constitute a major influence on filmmakers during this long decade. Amongst others, films by Baz Luhrmann, Richard Loncraine and Julie Taymor are discussed.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverezeichnis (pdf)