“But of Course the Stage has Certain Limits“? : The Adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Shakespeare's Plays

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Anglia : Zeitschrift für englische Philologie. 2009, 127(3), pp. 425-458. ISSN 0340-5222. eISSN 1865-8938. Available under: doi: 10.1515/angl.2009.062
Zusammenfassung

Stage adaptations of the physical transformations as evoked in Ovid's Metamorphoses have been deemed impossible or at least deficient in literary criticism, in particular with regard to Shakespeare's plays. My paper critically engages with this assessment and explores the ways in which metamorphoses can be staged in the theatre. Focusing on moments of transformation in Titus Andronicus, The Winter's Tale and A Midsummer Night's Dream, it examines actual theatrical realisations of different epochs as well as staging options of the scenes and argues that critics examining Shakespeare's metamorphoses have tended to neglect the mobility and polyfunctionality of theatrical semiosis in favour of an implicitly verisimilar notion of theatrical representation. Rather than exclusively aspiring to a verisimilar staging of bodily metamorphosis, the scenes self-reflexively comment on the double vision of theatre audiences, who witness both the intradiegetic moments of shape shifting and the incessant metamorphoses of theatrical signs, including the bodies of actors, which constitute and distinguish theatre as an art form.

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ISO 690WALD, Christina, 2009. “But of Course the Stage has Certain Limits“? : The Adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Shakespeare's Plays. In: Anglia : Zeitschrift für englische Philologie. 2009, 127(3), pp. 425-458. ISSN 0340-5222. eISSN 1865-8938. Available under: doi: 10.1515/angl.2009.062
BibTex
@article{Wald2009Cours-31810,
  year={2009},
  doi={10.1515/angl.2009.062},
  title={“But of Course the Stage has Certain Limits“? : The Adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Shakespeare's Plays},
  number={3},
  volume={127},
  issn={0340-5222},
  journal={Anglia : Zeitschrift für englische Philologie},
  pages={425--458},
  author={Wald, Christina}
}
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