Almost Shakespeare

Reinventing His Works for Cinema and Television


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About the Book

In the past two decades, Othello has tried out for the basketball team, Macbeth has taken over a fast food joint and King Lear has moved to an Iowa farm—Shakespeare is everywhere in popular culture. This collection of essays addresses the use of Shakespearean narratives, themes, imagery and characterizations in non-Shakespearian cinema. The essays explore how Shakespeare and his work are manipulated within the popular media and explore topics such as racism, jealousy, misogyny and nationality.
The submissions concentrate on film and television programs that are adaptations of Shakespearean plays, including My Own Private Idaho, CSI-Miami, A Thousand Acres, Prospero’s Books, O, 10 Things I Hate About You, Withnail and I, Get Over It, and The West Wing. Each chapter includes notes and a list of works cited. A full bibliography completes the work; it is divided into bibliographies and filmographies, general studies and essays, derivatives based on a single play, derivatives based on several, and derivatives based on Shakespeare as a character.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

James R. Keller is a professor and chair of the English and Theatre department at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. The author or editor of numerous works about popular culture, he lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Leslie Stratyner, a professor of English at Mississippi University for Women, lives in Columbus, Mississippi.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by James R. Keller and Leslie Stratyner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 203
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, references, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1909-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8103-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1: The Politics of Culture: The Play’s the Thing      7

2: Imitation as Originality in Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho      22

3: Shakespeare Transposed: The British Stage on the Post-Colonial Screen      42

4: Suture, Shakespeare, and Race: Or, What Is Our Cultural Debt to the Bard?      57

5: Cinema in the Round: Self-Reflexivity in Tim Blake Nelson’s O      73

6: Sex, Lies, Videotape-and Othello      86

7: “The Time Is Out of Joint”: Withnail and I and Historical Melancholia      99

8: Horatio: The First CSI      113

9: Teen Scenes: Recognizing Shakespeare in Teen Film      122

10: “An Aweful Rule”: Safe Schools, Hard Canons, and Shakespeare’s Loose Heirs      137

11: Prospero’s Pharmacy: Peter Greenaway and the Critics Play Shakespeare’s Mimetic Game      155

12: Shakespeare Film and Television Derivatives: A Bibliography      169

Contributors      190

Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“well-documented…well-written…sensitive and insightful…helpful…recommended”—Choice.