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When In Doubt, It's From Shakespeare...

from Foster's "How to Read Literature Like a Professor"

Laura W

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of When In Doubt, It's From Shakespeare...

by Laura White When in Doubt, it's From Shakespeare Foster's Thesis "If you look at any literary period between the 18th and 21st centuries, you'll be amazed by the dominance of the Bard.
He's everywhere...And he's never the same: every age and every writer reinvents its own Shakespeare." (38) Some Foster examples John Cleese (BBC), Cole Porter (Kiss Me, Kate), Moonlighting (Atomic Shakespeare), Death Valley Days (Western) Taming of the Shrew The Tempest (1982)
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
Othello (black police comm.)
West Side Story
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead "Nor is the Shakespeare adaptation phenomenon restricted to the stage and screen." (39) A Thousand Acres (Smiley) The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner) Brave New World (Huxley) By the Pricking of my Thumbs (Christie) Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury) Wise Children (Carter) Twins, illegitimate kids of famous Shakespearean actor
"Song-and-dance artists" tell a story overflowing with Shakespearean passions and situations
grandfather kills unfaithful wife and himself (Othello)
woman drowns like Ophelia (Hamlet)
woman (SURPRISE) isn't actually dead (Much Ado...)
two spiteful daughters (King Lear)
disguises, disappearances, reappearances, cross-dressing Famous Quotes! "To thine own self be true" (Hamlet)
"To be, or not to be- that is the question." (Hamlet)
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players" (As You Like It)
"What's in a name?..." (Romeo & Juliet)
"The better part of valour is discretion." (Henry IV)
"A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!" (Richard III)
"Double, double, toil and trouble..." (Macbeth)"
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate." (Sonnet 18)
"Off with his head!" (Richard III)
"Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow." (Romeo & Juliet)
"the world 's mine oyster" (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." (Julius Caesar) "He means something to us as readers in part because he means so much to our writers." (41) It makes us seem smarter? "We love the plays, the great characters, the fabulous speeches, the witty repartee even in times of duress." (42) "Shakespeare also provides a figure against whom writers can struggle... Writers find themselves engaged in a relationship with older writers..." (43) INTERTEXTUALITY "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" (T.S. Eliot) "I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be"
the most famous tragic hero is Hamlet
recognizable situation for character; a great deal of characterization in two words
opens up a conversation with Shakespeare's text
hapless ditherers? "...the new work, while taking bits from the older, is also having its say." (44) "...when we recognize the interplay between these dramas, we become partners with the new dramatist in creating meaning." (46) My examples Simpsons' Hamlet (removed from youtube!)
Green Eggs and Hamlet
This American Life Romeo & Juliet Romiette and Julio (Draper)
Gnomeo and Juliet
Love Story (Swift)
most filmed & illustrated play ever! A Midsummer Night's Dream Dead Poets' Society Twelfth Night She's the Man
All Shook Up
V for Vendetta The Taming of the Shrew 10 Things I Hate About You Macbeth Summer Reading The Picture of Dorian Gray Caliban & Miranda (85) Sibyl Vane Poor woman Hetty compared to Ophelia "Great things have been thrust on us, Gladys." (200) THE END run into the woods to solve problems
rebellion against parents, CARPE DIEM
woods and DPS are magical, dangerous, but enlightening
Neil performs as Puck in MSND production- rebelling against father; but acting portrayed as beautiful, and Shakespeare's language as inspiring and intellectual in a new way- things their society feared
intertextuality- teens still rebel, still are romantic, ideals, BUT new twist is individualism and its difficulty- Neil kills himself; not a comedic ending Sounds educated; large part of DG is sophistication and beauty brings up themes of forbidden love (Winter's Tale) and madness over love (Hamlet)
makes Dorian's loving and leaving seem more tragic, more noble, greater impact
brings up idea- Dorian as tragic hero?
intertextuality & twist- places Dorian, the dandy / work of art, among the tragic heroes- but he is not noble or moral; examines the time period and aestheticism Ref. to Twelfth Night: "Some are born great, some achieve greatness. and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."
Good way to show Shakespeare's language in everyday speech Sibyl is a Shakespearean actress; immediate caricature (names)
Characterized like Shakespearean women; beautiful, in love
forbidden love theme
romanticized, false love- never sees the true woman
"Love is a more wonderful thing than art." "They are both simply forms of imitation." (88) Plays into purpose of art "If this girl can give a soul to those who have lived without one, if she can create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have been sordid and ugly, if she can strip them of their selfishness and lend them tears for sorrows that are not their own, she is worthy of all your adoration..." (86)
connects to Shakespeare's plays through acting; her life is even like a play
once she finds true love she can't act ("I knew nothing but shadows and thought them real" (90))- love is more than fake scenes; but Dorian rejects her fallen talent- maybe love IS just an art form, nothing more The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Themes of duality, appearance vs reality popular in Shakespeare's works Greed, murder & guilt- reminiscent of Macbeth Pictography / Videography http://shakespeare.mit.edu/
Video: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I1P1Vml8WM>
http://jekyllhydelab.blogspot.com/2011/03/jh-resources-full-length-movies.html Bibliography Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York City: Harper Collins, 2003. Print.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. London: 1886.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. 2nd ed. New York City: Barnes & Noble, 2003.
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