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Screening Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Mark Thornton Burnett

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This bold new collection offers an innovative discussion of Shakespeare on screen after the millennium. Cutting-edge, and fully up-to-date, it surveys the rich field of Bardic film representations, from Michael Almereyda's Hamlet to the BBC 'Shakespea(Re)-Told' season, from Michael Radford's The Merchant of Venice to Peter Babakitis' Henry V. In addition to offering in-depth analyses of all the major productions, Screening Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century includes reflections upon the less well-known filmic 'Shakespeares', which encompass cinema advertisements, appropriations, post-colonial reinventions and mass media citations, and which move across and between genres and mediums.

Arguing that Shakespeare is a magnet for negotiations about style, value and literary authority, the essays contend that screen reinterpretations of England's most famous dramatist simultaneously address concerns centred upon nationality and ethnicity, gender and romance, and 'McDonaldisation' and the political process, thereby constituting an important intervention in the debates of the new century. As a result, through consideration of such offerings as the Derry Film Initiative Hamlet, the New Zealand The Maori Merchant of Venice and the television documentary In Search of Shakespeare, this collection is able to assess as never before the continuing relevance of Shakespeare in his local and global screen incarnations.

Key Features:

  • Only collection like it on the market, bringing the subject up to date.
  • Twenty-first century focus and international coverage.
  • Innovative discussion of a wide range of films and television.
  • Accessibly written for students and general readers.


Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray
1. 'If I'm right': Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare, Richard Dutton
2. 'I see my father' in 'my mind's eye': Surveillance and the Filmic Hamlet, Mark Thornton Burnett
3. Backstage Pass(ing): Stage Beauty, Othello and the Make-up of Race, Richard Burt
4. The Postnostalgic Renaissance: The 'Place' of Liverpool in Don Boyd's My Kingdom, Courtney Lehmann
5. Our Shakespeares: British Television and the Strains of Multiculturalism, Susanne Greenhalgh and Robert Shaughnessy
6. Looking for Shylock: Stephen Greenblatt, Michael Radford and Al Pacino, Samuel Crowl
7. Speaking Maori Shakespeare, Catherine Silverstone
8. 'Into a thousand parts divide one man', Sarah Hatchuel
9. Screening the McShakespeare in Post-Millenial Shakespeare Cinema
10. Shakespeare and the Singletons, Ramona Wray
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Mark Thornton Burnett is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen's University, Belfast. He is the author of Masters and Servants in English Renaissance Drama and Culture: Authority and Obedience (Macmillan, 1997), Constructing ‘Monsters’ in Shakespearean Drama and Early Modern Culture (Palgrave, 2002) and Filming Shakespeare in the Global Marketplace (Palgrave, 2007).


...provides refreshing and current insight...
- Film & History
Brings the study of Shakespeare on film bang up to date...These are engaged and provocative critical assessments of twenty-first-century Shakespeare and post-millennial culture in general.
- Ewan Fernie, Department of English, Royal Holloway College, University of London
The ten essays in this collection … have something new and special to offer. The book is cutting-edge not only because it is sharply focused on the latest screen versions of Shakespeare, but also because of its twenty-first century approach to the subject.
The editors’ period- and theme-based approach offers (in addition to the excitement of genuinely new and illuminating approaches) real clarity and direction.
- Peter S. Donaldson, Department of Literature, MIT, & Director of the Shakespeare Electronic Archive
Screening Shakespeare is the first anthology specifically to address screen Shakespeare in the new millennium ... this consistently superb collection offers the critical state of the art. ... The contributions are so strong that it is difficult to single out essays for special praise.