Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSOL2EN3454

Semester and Year Offered: II & IV. Winter Semester 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Sayandeb Chowdhury

Email of course coordinator: sayandeb[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: Much of the appeal of William Shakespeare’s seemingly inexhaustible power as a playwright lies in the most astonishing adaptations of his plays. This course will discuss how his plays have travelled across culture and medium, regions and most importantly, languages and how the inherent potency of a Shakespearean play is unlocked in tongues far removed from the original. By bringing together some of his most well- known plays to stand in comparison with some of thee landmark cinematic adaptations, the course hopes to highlight both older and newer issues that have surfaced in Shakespearean studies over the years: from honour, ambition, filial love, jealousy and madness to the more recent explorations of race, culture, sexuality, identity, gender and authorship itself.

Course Outcomes: On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Radically question the reception of canon
  • Understand adaptation as critique
  • Develop self-reflexivity about Shakespearean studies
  • Engage with cinema as language and visual compendium.


  • Response Paper 20%
  • Mid-Semester 30%
  • Presentation 20%
  • Term Paper 30%

Brief description of main modules:

Module 1

This module looks at the question of Shakespeare’s legacy, theories of adaption and the problems of authorship. It throws light on Adaptation theory and practice and film form.

Module 2
Macbeth : Power, sovereignty, primogeniture

  • Akira Kurosawa, Throne of Blood
  • Roman Polanski, Macbeth
  • Justin Kerzel, Macbeth
  • Vishal Bhardwaj, Maqbool

Module 3
King Lear: Age, kingship , madness

  • Akira Kurosawa, Ran
  • Grigori Kozintsev, King Lear
  • Peter Brooke, King Lear

Module 4,
Hamlet: Being, nothingness, humanism

  • Grigori Kozintsev, Hamlet
  • Kenneth Branagh, Hamlet
  • Vishal Bhardwaj, Haider

Reading List

  • Macbeth (Arden Shakespeare The Third Series, Sandra Clark and Pamela Mason (ed), 2015 )
  • King Lear (Arden Shakespeare The Third Series, RA Foakes (ed) 1997)
  • Hamlet (Arden Shakespeare The Third Series, Ann Thompson & Neil Taylor (ed) RE, 2016)
  • Rothwell Kenneth S, Shakespeare on Screen, CUP, 1990.
  • Buchman Lorne M, Still in Movement: Shakespeare on Screen, OUP, 1991.
  • Béchervaise, Neil E. et al, eds, Shakespeare on Celluloid, St Clair, 1999.
  • Cartmell Deborah, Interpreting Shakespeare on Screen, Macmillan, 2000.
  • Henderson E, Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen, Blackwell, 2007.
  • Russell J (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film, CUP 2000
  • Corrigan Timothy, Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader, Routledge, 2E 2012.