Shakespeare and Film

Elective Courses

CINE 100 - Shakespeare and Film

COML 117 | ENGL 101
401 | |MW 10-11am (plus REC) |FBH 419

This class is designed for students interested in exploring Shakespeare's dramatic art and cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. We will read seven of Shakespeare’s plays in order to explore how they ask profound questions about power, gender relations, nationalism, race, sexuality, and freedom. We will do so by examining their historical context as well as their form, their language, and how they entertain their audiences. And we will do so by placing them alongside some of their most vibrant cinematic appropriations. To “appropriate” is to make your own, and that process changes what is being appropriated. Shakespeare has been inspiring film makers all over the world since the very beginning of film technology. There are now hundreds of films that adapt Shakespeare’s plays into different languages, and varied social worlds. Some of these are masterpieces of cinema in their own right, others better known as adaptations. Some are celebrated for their faithfulness to the Bard, others criticized as violating the spirit of Shakespeare. Still others are worth watching precisely because in bending the original they alert us to aspects of Shakespeare that we may not have paid attention to, or they tell us something new about our own world. The marriage of cinema and Shakespeare changes both, and studying the exchange means learning about the distinctions of literature and film and the grounds they share. Classes will consist of two lectures and one recitation per week. Requirements: regular attendance, participation in recitation, three short response papers (1-2 pages), a midterm, and a final. You will be required to watch selected films each week, all of which will be on reserve at Rosengarten. No prerequisites needed. Fulfills the Arts and Letters Sector (All Classes).


last updated 06/16/2014 - 5:14pm

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782