Shakespeare's cinema of love

A study in genre and influence

By R. S. White

Shakespeare's cinema of love


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9974-8
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: September 2016
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Literature, Film history, theory & criticism, Classic & pre-20th century plays, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, DRAMA / Shakespeare, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism, The arts / Film theory & criticism


This engaging and stimulating book argues that Shakespeare's plays significantly influenced movie genres in the twentieth century, particularly in films concerning love in the classic Hollywood period. Shakespeare's 'green world' has a close functional equivalent in 'tinseltown' and on 'the silver screen', as well as in hybrid genres in Bollywood cinema. Meanwhile, Romeo and Juliet continues to be an enduring source for romantic tragedy on screen. The nature of generic indebtedness has not gained recognition because it is elusive and not always easy to recognise. The book traces generic links between Shakespeare's comedies of love and screen genres such as romantic comedy, 'screwball' comedy and musicals, as well as clarifying the use of common conventions defining the genres, such as mistaken identity, 'errors', disguise and 'shrew-taming'. Speculative, challenging and entertaining, the book will appeal to those interested in Shakespeare, movies and the representation of love in narratives.


'R.S. White's timely book on the influence of Shakespeare on Hollywood cinema offers a refreshing account of the 'contestatory and symbiotic' relationship between Shakespeare's generic innovations and the development of cinematic genres in early Hollywood.'
David McInnis, Australian Book Review June 2017


Introduction: Shakespeare shaping modern movie genres
1.'Madly mated': The Taming of the Shrew and odd-couple comedy
2. Dreams in the forest: romantic comedy
3. 'The guy's only doing it for some doll': musical comedy
4. Of errors and Eros: a brief digression on twins
5. Comedy of disguise and mistaken identity
6. 'Star-crossed lovers': Romeo and Juliet and romantic tragedy


R. S. White is Winthrop Professor of English at the University of Western Australia and Chief Investigator at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions 1100-1800

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