What makes a (good) adaptation?
· Evolution of adaptations, what time period took on what role with adaptations?
o 1700’s the plays were called imitations, alterations-historically limited
o Adaptation, addition of scenes, implies new is better than old
o Spinoffs- Hollywood tradaptations- language
o Is there a decent label to put on these texts?
o Appropriation, off shoot, ripoff… whats the proper word? Does it even matter? Are they synonymous?
· What makes the adaptation good?
o Does it have to be effective in conveying an image to the target audience? Are there strictly personal gains to each adaptation? Is there one, underlying intention of the adaptations, or is there no specific intention.
o What makes adaptations of Shakespeare still desirable after 400 years? \
o Is there a theatrical aspect to all adaptations?
§ Adaptations are the theatrical practices with intertextual experiences b/c theater must interpret the ambiguities, they must be biased and one sided
o What defines the effectiveness of an adaptation
· Who can make a good adaptation? Or rather, are there specific qualities that people can have to make a good adaptation (i.e. strong beliefs, extensive knowledge of Shakespeare)
o Does a person have to be a Shakespeare expert to use him? Or can a decent and effective adaptation come from someone who has a vague understanding of Shakespeare but is driven by a personal motive. Does the personal motive need to exist?
· There are many types of adaptations, but most of them can be separated into two general categories
o An idea of Shakespeare is expanded upon, taking the little to no textual evidence present in the play and adapting it to the author’s whims, keeping the characterizations the same, or as close as possible
§ Harlem Duet, A Tempest, Al-hamlet summit
o The characterizations and scenes of Shakespeare are manipulated by the author and changed in order to better suit the adaptation i.e. make dimensionless characters have some aspect of a character etc. Basically, taking nothing and making something using “Shakespeare’s” eye
§ Goodnight Desdemona, Goodmorning Juliet, Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief
o Is one better than the other? Does it depend on the work it is appropriating? Does it depend on the specific message?
· CONTEXT IS CRUCIAL
o The context is extremely important in understanding the adaptation because the adaptation itself reflects on why the author wrote, what pressures he or she wrote it on and what the world was like when the appropriation was made. i.e. political Shakespeare’s, feminist Shakespeare’s etc.
o How much intertext is necessary in each adaptation, is it right to manipulate it and contort it in any way you see fit?
o The struggle between the original and the adaptation, the adaptation falls under copyright protection and can be considered the author’s work while Shakespeare has no copyright. Is this fair?
· Every act of interpretation requires critical reading
· Shakespeare has been used as modes of crossing, gaping and articulation between media as well as nations. What gives the texts these abilities?
Background Information from the article
· It was a common practice to imitate the classic authors without acknowledgement almost like it was glorified to be a master imitator back in Shakespeare’s time
· The source of Shakespeare’s writing can never be fully determined because there were many indirect translations that he would have adapted from, when now it is well known what source the adaptations come from.
· Shakespeare represents the idea of the imperialistic England, his story seems to be able to represent the history of England up to 300 years. The idea that his message are elastic.
· The idea of Shakespeare will continue to flourish because of the already crazy adaptations, Shakespeare can be adapted to modern forms as well. Such as the disco ball version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream