Module convenor: Dr. Steve Purcell (Office H538)
Shakespeare's plays have been reinvented and refashioned in various media since the early 17th century. In remaking both the plays and often the very notion of what is held to constitute 'Shakespeare', Shakespearean adaptations frequently tell us a great deal about the social and aesthetic values of the cultures that produced them. Often, they can be read as works of creative criticism on the text(s) that originated them. Shakespeare's plays, of course, are adaptations themselves, and this module will begin with a study of Shakespeare's own intertextuality.
In Term 1, this module will introduce you to some of the key theoretical contributions to the study of Shakespeare in adaptation and guide you through various 'remakings' of a particular Shakespearean play over the centuries. In 2021-22, the primary text will be Troilus and Cressida, and we will study this play in its adaptations across theatre, television and literature.
Term 2 will allow you to examine the 'afterlives' of a Shakespearean play of your own choosing, and, if you wish, to explore the process of adapting a Shakespearean play as a creative practitioner yourself, whether as a performer, director, creative writer, visual artist or filmmaker.
This module is usually taught in an "open-space" style, combining close textual analysis and archival work with discussion and "on your feet" practical exploration; this year, there will be a strong online component. Each session during Term 1 will involve the exploration and analysis of archival resources through practical exploration as well as discussion; you will be encouraged to share and develop your own strategies for such work during Term 2.