Borrowed robes and garbled transmissions: echoes of Shakespeare's dwarfish thief

Johnson, Laurie (2016) Borrowed robes and garbled transmissions: echoes of Shakespeare's dwarfish thief. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, (Special Issue) (36). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1327-9556

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When Shakespeare’s plays are creatively reinterpreted or rewritten, ‘Shakespeare’ invariably remains locked in as the fixed point of reference: rewritings of Shakespeare; reinterpretations of Shakespeare, and so on. Since 1753, Shakespeare source studies have been mapping the source materials on which his plays were based, which should have enabled us to loosen this fixed point of reference and to begin to picture the much longer history of reinterpretations in which the plays participate. Yet traditional approaches to Shakespeare source studies merely lock in a new point of reference, encompassing both source text and play. This paper aims to show that the new source studies unravels the notion of an ‘original’ by enabling us to unlock broader fields of exchange within which Shakespeare’s texts and our interpretations circulate together. Using the example of Macbeth and the language of borrowing and robbery within it, this essay illustrates the capacity for creative or writerly engagements with a Shakespeare an text to tap, perhaps even unconsciously at times, into a history of words and images that goes far beyond the 400 years that we are marking in this year of Shakespeare.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: 'Copyright of all work published in TEXT remains with the authors.' Published version made available under open access.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 02:29
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 02:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: William Shakespeare; new source studies; Macbeth; Monty Python
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190402 Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture

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