Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the ways that Shakespeare’s comedies have been reshaped over the last 400 years, in response to various cultural, historical, and social changes, and in reaction to various aesthetic concerns, including theatre personnel, literary fashions, and stage features. The topic of adaptation raises a number of theoretical questions. First, what is ‘Shakespeare’? Is ‘Shakespeare’ a set of plots, characters, stories, or poetry? If one of these items is removed or drastically changed, can the work still be called ‘Shakespeare’s play’? If a work has the same characters as Shakespeare’s original text, but in a modern setting, is it an adaptation? What if the language is modernized, but the plot and characters remain exactly the same? What if some characters are omitted, and others are added? These are some of the questions that this chapter will address as it chronicles more than three centuries of reshaping the comedies.

Keywords: Shakespeare, comedy, adaptation, music, spectacle

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.