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Shakespeare and Film

ENGL 436.640
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective of the Standard Major

Shakespeare's plays were not created to be read; they were created to be seen.  For a contemporary American audience, where going to the theater is a rare event, this most often means seeing his plays performed on film.  In this class we will look at select Shakespearean plays as texts interpreted cinematically.  We will focus our analysis on such issues as setting and interiority, as well as more generalized thematic concerns.  A director?s choice of setting can, for instance, influence an audience?s sense of historical distance or contemporary ?relevance?; treatments of devices used to express the interior thoughts and feelings of a character (soliloquies and asides) also vary widely among filmmakers and impact our interpretation of a given character?s psychology and motivation.  Among the plays we will study are: Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Othello.