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Performance Review

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Performance Review

The 1995 release of the film ‘Clueless’, based on Jane Austen’s

‘Emma’, saw a new trend emerge in Hollywood. By adapting classic

literary texts into modern day ‘Teen Dramas’, the film industry and

those working in education may argue that such films allow youngsters

an insight into plays and novels written hundreds of years ago. In

effect, the work of Shakespeare and others is made accessible to the

young, and in a world where reading is now perhaps considered

secondary, many may well relish the fact that classic stories are

still being presented and enjoyed in this ever evolving and advancing

society. As Lynda E. Boose and Richard Burt argue: “…this shift to a

cultural studies approach opens new possibilities for a kind of

Shakespeare criticism with wider appeal to a non-academic public

(which presumes, of course, that the Shakespearean academic

necessarily wants such a popular audience).[1]

It could be argued that this new trend in making Shakespeare

accessible to teens through film, is merely a moneymaking commodity.

Indeed many of these adaptations pay little respect to the script they

are supposedly based upon. However, because the tag line of the film

hails itself as being, for example: “an exceptionally intelligent and

powerful contemporary adaptation,’’[2] youngsters, in fear of tackling

the original, flock to the cinemas substituting filmic text for

literary text while assuming satisfactory understanding. However, when

one has been fortunate enough to study a literary text in full, it

becomes clear that these supposed reworks neglect to convey many of

the details found in the original. And perhaps, th...

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...4. Internet.

http://sunflower.signet.com.sg/~yisheng/notes/shakespeare/othello_b.htm.

12/3/05

[11] Shakespeare, W. Othello. Heinemann Advanced Shakespeare, 2000.

Heinemann. P 288

[12] A C Bradley. Shakespearean Tragedy 1904. Internet.

http://sunflower.signet.com.sg/~yisheng/notes/shakespeare/othello_b.htm.

12/3/05

[13] A C Bradley. Shakespearean Tragedy 1904. Internet.

http://sunflower.signet.com.sg/~yisheng/notes/shakespeare/othello_b.htm

[14] Shakespeare, W. Othello. Heinemann Advanced Shakespeare, 2000.

Heinemann. P59.

[15] Shakespeare, W. Othello. Heinemann Advanced Shakespeare, 2000.

Heinemann. p19

[16] [16] Lynda E. Boose and Richard Burt. Shakespeare the Movie II:

Popularizing the plays on Film, TV, Video and DVD. Routledge, 2003.

P96-97. Essay by, Barbara Hodgdon. ‘. Racing Othello.’
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