Adapting Classic Works

Watched the new Macbeth film today and went home feeling happy. Strange after seeing a gory, dark, medieval tragedy, but I felt this way because despite the unpleasant nature of what I’d seen, I felt positively about it. I was open to it.

Despite his cryptic prose, and bygone origins, Shakespeare’s are some of the most versatile classic works.

This new film stayed true to it’s era, but moved away from the literal. For me, it’s greatest pro is in its costumes and landscape. Acting is fantastic as well, though nothing new.

While in the cinema, I kept thinking about how this film would go straight into the Shakespeare adaptation canon. Possibly the only fixed “genre” out there. That it would be used for educational purposes in the future. But I hope this doesn’t stop us from thinking about it as a modern work of art; I hope this doesn’t stop us from criticising it and looking for ways alternatives. I think adaptations should be made so that we can make sense of Shakespeare. I don’t think there will ever be one that will get it “right” or even get it “wrong”. I think each adaptation presents a new insight to the work that could lead to a greater understanding of it.


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