Shakespeare and The Novel

Marianne Novy

in The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780748635238
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652297 | DOI:
Shakespeare and The Novel

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The discussion in this chapter, which ranges from George Eliot to Jane Smiley, shows the ways in which Shakespeare in the novel functions as a marker of prestige, an opportunity for irony, an aid to characterization, literary shorthand, and an exercise in nostalgia. Furthermore, it investigates the selected rewritings of six different plays, probably among the most often alluded to — The Merchant of Venice, Othello, As You Like It, Hamlet, The Tempest and King Lear — to show such dialogues and shifts. Season of Migration may seem to present a postcolonial critique of Othello for his love of a white woman and his service to Venice. As You Like It could be the starting point for more utopian comic adaptations. The most significant literary use of Hamlet in the twentieth century is Joyce's Ulysses. Novels that rewrite King Lear are often particularly ambitious.

Keywords: Shakespeare; The Merchant of Venice; Othello; As You Like It; Hamlet; The Tempest; King Lear; George Eliot; Jane Smiley

Chapter.  11491 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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