Shakespeare and Drama

Lucy Munro

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 Drama

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This chapter addresses adaptation as product and process, underlining how generic changes and gender switches invariably informed the movement of Shakespeare from his own stage into other stages. Modern dramatic figures such as Mary Lou Rosato and Richard Curtis are illustrative here. The Tamer Tamed is an early example of the very direct influence that Shakespeare's work has exerted on the plays of his contemporaries and successors though the practice of adaptation. The majority of adaptations rework narrative, many condensing the text and most altering at least some key sequences or stress points. The use of design and setting is important to theatrical adaptation. Shakespeare's plays may be celebrated or critiqued, dissected or reassembled, embellished or stripped bare; their use in new works may provoke cosy familiarity or nostalgia, or it may create something closer to a Brechtian alienation effect. However, they have proved difficult to ignore.

Keywords: Shakespeare; drama; theatrical adaptation; Mary Lou Rosato; Richard Curtis; gender

Chapter.  10248 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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