The Germaine Greer book Shakespeareâ€™s Wife (Bloomsbury Publishing, London 2007) is best read as an academic treatise on the life of Ann Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare. Greer’s work portrays alternative readings of the women in William Shakespeare’s life, but it is difficult to read unless the reader is first of all intimately familiar with the few historically established facts of Shakespeare’s life and the history of the times in which he lived. As an exercise in unraveling biography from the minutiae of bureaucracy and scraps of bureaucratic records, the book works well.
Antnhec has an amateur video posted on YouTube exploring the world of Romeo.
O, or “The One” as it is known in Europe, is a 2001 movie interpreting Shakespeare’s play Othello in the context of Palmetto Grove, a prestigious South Carolina boarding school.
Tim Supple’s 2003 television movie ‘Twelfth Night’ provides a multi-cultural contemporary rendition of Shakespeare’s play on confused identities.
Supple places the lead characters Viola/Cesario (Parminder Nagra) and Sebastian (Ronny Jhutti) as refugees in an exotic Illyria (21st century London). He provides a back story in which the twins witness their mother being beaten and arrested during a military coup.
Duke Orsino is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Malvolio is played by Michael Maloney. Claire Price, who recently starred in the BBC series, Rebus, plays Olivia. Feste, played by Zubin Varla, is portrayed as a popstar favourite of Olivia’s household.
Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 movie ‘William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet’ is a very accessible version of the play. Modern secondary school students, I think, react to this movie in a similar way to how Shakespeare’s original – audience would have reacted. We forget how revolutionary this early play of Shakespeare’s was, but Luhrmann brings his audience face to face to the scandal of tampering with the Bard.
Welcome to this blog on Shakespeare in Film. This will be a joint project between Duncan and Ennis Macleod. Duncan’s the site manager. Ennis is the secondary school English teacher. Between us we hope to provide an ongoing review of contemporary renditions of Shakespeare plays, with a view to resourcing the teaching of Shakespeare.