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Palgrave Macmillan

Shakespeare, Cinema and Desire

Adaptation and Other Futures of Shakespeare's Language

ISBN 9781137332059
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Shakespeare, Cinema and Desire explores the desires and the futures of Shakespeare's language and cinematographic adaptations of Shakespeare. Tracing ways that film offers us a rich new understanding of Shakespeare, Simon Ryle highlights issues that are central to both Shakespeare and film: media technologies, narrative territories and flows, mourning and loss, the voice, the body, sexuality and gender. The recirculation of Shakespearean ideas in the critical theory of modernity, especially figures such as Jacques Lacan, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze, parallels the negotiations of film adaptation. By focusing on the dialogue between Shakespeare and modernity, this study explores how Shakespeare film adaptation raises broad questions concerning the emancipatory potential of aesthetics.

Shakespeare is the source of more movie screenplays than any other writer in history, and negotiations between Shakespeare and developing cinematic technologies have been influential across the history of cinema. This book contributes a much needed analysis of the relation of Shakespeare's language to film form, providing in-depth studies of major Shakespeare adaptations from directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Peter Greenaway, Joseph Mankiewicz, Grigori Kozintsev, Svend Gade, Jean-Luc Godard, and Laurence Olivier.

Simon Ryle is Assistant Professor in early modern literature, film, and critical theory at the University of Split, Croatia.

Introduction: Shakespeare, Cinema and Desire
1. Something from Nothing: King Lear and Film Space
2. Body Space: The Sublime Cleopatra
3. Ghost Time: Unfolding Hamlet
4. Re-nascences: The Tempest and New Media


"Shakespeare, Cinema and Desire is sophisticated, thought-provoking, and intellectually stimulating. Simon Ryle's relation of the Shakespearean text to later films is outstanding; he provides many compelling, unique readings of Shakespeare's language in specific adaptations and in the history of cinema itself. The book is an important addition to existing Shakespeare and film criticism that will appeal to Shakespearean scholars, teachers, and students." – Lisa Starks-Estes, University of South Florida, USA
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