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Title: Shakespeare on film : through the lens of a narrative theory
Author: Elliott, Aidan John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 144X
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Although Shakespeare's plays have been the subject of thousands of film adaptations and thoroughly interpreted within the sub-field of Shakespeare on Film, they have rarely been considered in relation to narrative theory. Viewing the films in this context sheds light on the process by which early modern dramatic dialogue and action is reshaped for the screen. Building on the work done by narrative theorists, particularly those addressing the issues of film (including H. Porter Abbott, Mieke Bal, Roland Barthes, David Bordwell, Edward Branigan, Seymour Chatman, Gerard Genette, David Herman, Suzanne Keen, Susan Onega, Gerald Prince and Marie-Laure Ryan), this dissertation focuses on the way changes occur at the levels of the syuzhet (the order of the events in a particular narration) and how this interacts with a film’s style (the way events are communicated in a specific medium). The impact of these changes on the fabula (the events of a story reconstructed in chronological order) is then assessed to ascertain how the films alter the way the stories are interpreted. This thesis also uses quantitative measurements to establish not only how much text is utilised but also where specific cuts occur. By transcribing the original text of Shakespeare's plays - and the spoken dialogue of specific films - into Final Draft screenwriting software, the precise temporal positioning of the key story events can be identified. Differences that might not otherwise be easily perceptible are also highlighted; these include changes to role size, words per speech, shares of dialogue and areas of textual cutting. These findings will inform further qualitative analysis using the traditional techniques of close reading. My methodology illuminates the way changes have been made at the macro and micro levels of narrative, adding something new to the resources currently available to teachers of Shakespeare and to filmmakers.
Supervisor: Saunders, Max William Mill; Conor, Bridget; Massai, Sonia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available