Apocalyptic Shakespeare

Essays on Visions of Chaos and Revelation in Recent Film Adaptations

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About the Book

This collection of essays examines the ways in which recent Shakespeare films portray anxieties about an impending global wasteland, technological alienation, spiritual destruction, and the effects of globalization. Films covered include Titus, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Almereyda’s Hamlet, Revengers Tragedy, Twelfth Night, The Passion of the Christ, Radford’s The Merchant of Venice, The Lion King, and Godard’s King Lear, among others that directly adapt or reference Shakespeare. Essays chart the apocalyptic mise-en-scènes, disorienting imagery, and topsy-turvy plots of these films, using apocalypse as a theoretical and thematic lens.

About the Author(s)

Melissa Croteau is an associate professor of literature and film studies at California Baptist University.
Carolyn Jess-Cooke is a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Northumbria. She lives in Tyne and Wear, England.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Melissa Croteau and Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3392-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5351-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Introduction: Beginning at the Ends

MELISSA CROTEAU      1

1. The “great doom’s image”: Apocalyptic Trajectories in Contemporary Shakespearean Filmmaking

RAMONA WRAY      29

2. Apocalyptic Paternalism, Family Values, and the War of the Cinemas; or, How Shakespeare Became Posthuman

COURTNEY LEHMANN      47

3. Liberty’s Taken, or How “captive women may be cleansed and used”: Julie Taymor’s Titus and 9/11

KIM FEDDERSON and J. MICHAEL RICHARDSON      70

4. Post-Apocalyptic Spaces in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet

RICHARD VELA      90

5. Celluloid Revelations: Millennial Culture and Dialogic

“Pastiche” in Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet (2000)

MELISSA CROTEAU      110

6. The Revenger’s Tragedy in 2002: Alex Cox’s Punk Apocalypse

GRETCHEN E. MINTON      132

7. The Plague in Filmed Versions of Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night

CARL JAMES GRINDLEY      148

8. The Politics of Apocalypse: Interrogating Conversion in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Michael Radford’s The Merchant of Venice

ADRIAN STREETE      166

9. Disney’s “War Efforts”: The Lion King and Education for Death; or, Shakespeare Made Easy for Your Apocalyptic Convenience

ALFREDO MICHEL MODENESSI      181

10. Four Funerals and a Bedding: Freud and the Post-Apocalyptic Apocalypse of Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear

ANTHONY R. GUNERATNE      197

11. “The Promised End” of Cinema: Portraits of Apocalypse in Post-Millennial Shakespearean Film

CAROLYN JESS-COOKE      216

About the Contributors      229

Index      231