Students will be offered a critical overview of adaptation and appropriationstudies with a focus on Shakespeare, which can be regarded as a crucial touchstone in the field.
“What exactly counts as a Shakespeare adaptation? And why bother in the first place?”. These questions have been asked in a Folger Library interview to three modern writers whose plays, loosely based on Shakespeare, have been staged in recent years in the US. Moving from these questions, we will explore the notion of adaptation, with an eye on its extended family of appropriations, especially focusing on Shakespearean dramas and discussing examples that range from the late seventeenth century to the present. Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice will be taken as cases in point in order to investigate Shakespeare’s oeuvre, which has, in time, been made fit for new, different, and at times contrasting historical, cultural, and ideological contexts.
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