The Tempest (Film)

Women in Shakespeare, Taymor, and Atwood: The Tempest Reworked College

The practice of theatrically adapting Shakespeare’s works has been popular for close to four hundred years (Fischlin and Fortier 1); the high points of appropriation were the Restoration and the second half of the twentieth century. Recent adaptations often adapt his plays to fit other mediums, such as film or the novel. Fischlin and Fortier remark that “adaptations . . . often attempt to re-contextualize Shakespeare politically” (5). According to Terence Hawkes, the meaning ascribed to a text at a certain point in time is always ideologically dependent and contextualized by history and occasion; therefore, assigning a final, context-free truth or meaning to it is impossible (1-10). Placing Hawkes’ notion of the dependence of meaning on context in the area of adaptation studies suggests that every adaptation of, in this case, Shakespeare, creates its own meaning by reworking the original text in a new context. Shakespeare’s works lend themselves so well for the purpose of adaptation or appropriation because of the gaps he left; his works often exclude motivations or depth of character, making it alluring for adapters to attempt and fill these gaps, often to enforce a certain perspective.

In most of Shakespeare’s plays, female...

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