Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © 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: 04 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The cinematic medium is not immediately conducive to Shakespearean comedy. Issues of medium, frames of reference, and cultural politics pose challenges for Shakespearean comedy on film. Much of Shakespearean comedy is language-driven, whereas mainstream film tends to privilege the visual; the historically or culturally specific references or assumptions upon which much Shakespearean humour depends does not easily square with the contemporary frames of reference of much film comedy; because of the politics, it is difficult to treat plays like The Taming of the Shrew as straightforward film comedies without the risk of alienating portions of the target audience. This chapter surveys a number of strategies filmmakers have adopted to meet these and other challenges of transposing Shakespearean comedy to film. The chapter addresses not only so-called ‘faithful adaptations’, but also ‘free adaptations’, arguing that the latter tend to illuminate particularly well the challenges of translating Shakespearean comedy to the screen.

Keywords: film studies, teen comedy, cinematic adaptation, codes of representation, mass audience

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.