Media Representing Shakespeare: Adaptation, Inter-Textuality, and Gender

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Applying the theory of adaptation, Feminism, and Performance Studies, this paper explores the adaptation, inter-textuality, and gender in the three films The Tempest (2010) directed by Julie Taymor, Prospero’s Books (1991) directed by Peter Greenaway, and Shakespeare in Love (1998) directed by John Madden, referenced to Gnomeo and Juliet (2011), a cartoon animation. Both films of The Tempest show visual spectacle and technology images by CGI (Computer-Generated Cinematic Graphic Image) effect. The author argues the power struggle between Caliban and Prospero played by actress Helen Mirren, changes from post-colonial discourse in the male domain, to be more about the intellect contest between man and woman, and Taymor’s adaptation is more focused on maternity than actor John Gielgud’s on politics. Inter-textuality exists in Shakespeare in Love and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night. Unlike the tragedy in the films, Gnomeo and Juliet ends happily as we can expect from most musicals and fairy tales. The inter-textuality of literature and art, dramatic plays, historical events, and biographical sketches are delicately intertwined. Media represent Shakespeare applied by Jean Baudrillard’s “simulacra” and Richard Schechner’s “simulation” to present the liminal threshold between reality, role-playing, and theatricality. Shakespeare represented by media rise to visual narratives.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Literature and Art Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


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