OverviewHow have twentieth-century writers across the world negotiated and appropriated Shakespeares omnipresent cultural influence? How have they revised, reinvented, and reimagined his legacy in Europe, Asia, and the Americas (North, Central, and South)? This module focuses on a selection of Shakespeares most influential plays (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest) in order to examine how their thematic, historical, and cultural concerns have been transplanted to a wide range of global locations including the Caribbean, Germany, Japan, a farm in the USA, and the Argentine Pampas. The module also engages with theoretical notions related to the act of appropriating Shakespeare, including the theory of intertextuality, the Benjaminian concept of the afterlife of a text, and Genettes study of the palimpsest as a text derived from a pre-existent text. In addition, the module will reflect on issues of race, gender, and cultural identity embedded in the adaptations of the bard in the various world contexts in which his work has been complexly modernized and redeployed.
This module appears in:
2 hours per week
Method of assessment
Indicative Reading List -
Shakespeare, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Heiner Müller, Hamletmachine.
Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres.
Akira Kurosawa, Throne of Blood.
Jorge Luis Borges, Everything and Nothing, Shakespeares Memory, and The Pattern.
Marina Warner, Indigo.
To accurately deploy techniques of close reading and textual analysis in order to come to a systematic understanding of a range of Shakespeares plays and their twentieth-century appropriations;
To obtain a systematic understanding of key aspects of recent critical approaches to Shakespeares plays and adaptations of his plays;
To engage critically with and comment upon these critical approaches as well as to understand the specific cultural, historical and political contexts from which these approaches emerge;
To attain detailed and high-level understanding of the intertextual relations between texts, and how Shakespeares plays have been adapted to new historical and cultural circumstances across the world;
To evaluate the various ways in which world writers talked back to Shakespeare, and how they responded to his canonical discourse with reverence and irreverence, sympathy and antipathy, and homage and parody;
To demonstrate an ability to assess comparatively the literary, political, historical, and cultural legacy of Shakespeares plays in different world-wide locations;
To acquire cogent understanding of the theory of intertextuality and broader approaches to the translation of literary works as cultural acts of adaptation and appropriation, and to appreciate the complexities and limitations of these approaches.