Global Shakespeare on Film

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
04 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA PW38 Film and Creative Writing,
BA PW39 Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA PW88 Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PWH8 Film and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Screen adaptations of Shakespeare form a significant part of our cultural experience of his plays. Global Shakespeare on Film takes a comparative approach and unites our departmental disciplines of literature, film, drama and creative writing to examine how interpretations of Shakespeare have developed across time and cultural boundaries.

We will study the adaptations of eight different plays by Shakespeare, including Olivier’s Henry V which moves between a theatrical presentation in the Globe Theatre and cinematic realism, modern re-imaginings Ten things I hate about you and Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, and Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, a re-telling of Macbeth in a Japanese setting. The study of these films will illuminate Shakespeare’s eternal appeal to artists and audiences alike.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. to introduce the period in a form accessible to first-year students by capitalising on their existing familiarity with Shakespeare and challenging them with a new approach to his work.

2. to complement the Department's strength in interdisciplinary studies (film and literature) and in translation and comparative literature (via the Japanese and Italian texts chosen)

3. to respond to a vibrant and growing field in Shakespeare studies

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module:

1. Students will be familiar with a group of texts – original plays and film adaptations – and the significance of their literary and cultural merit.
2. Students will be able to evaluate the effect of political and cultural circumstances on the adaptation, having studied the changing treatments of Shakespeare's texts across multiple languages and a span of seventy years.
3. Skills in presentation and critical analysis will be developed in the seminars on this module

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

For 2020-21, we will offer a mixture of tailored online, digital, and campus-based teaching where it may be possible and as appropriate, along with personalised one-to-one consultation with academic staff. Any screenings are arranged separately as required.


  • Shakespeare, William; Thompson, Ann; Taylor, Neil. (2006) Hamlet, London: Arden Shakespeare.
  • Shakespeare, William; Weis, René. (2012) Romeo and Juliet, London: Arden Shakespeare.
  • Grigorii Mikhailovich Kozint?s?ev; Jüri Järvet; Boris Leonidovich Pasternak; William Shakespeare. (2011) King Lear, Brighton: Mr Bongo.
  • Feng Xiaogang. (2006) The Banquet.
  • Zeffirelli, Franco; Shakespeare, William; Taylor, Elizabeth; Burton, Richard. (c2001) The Taming of the Shrew: [s.l.] : Columbia Tristar Home Video.
  • Niamh J. O'Leary. (2012) 'Ambition and Desire: Gertrude as Tragic Hero in Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet.', in The Upstart Crow: A Shakespeare Journal. vol. 31
  • James Monaco. (2009) 'Film and Theatre', in How to Read a Film: Movies, Media and Beyond, Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp.58-62
  • Yvonne Griggs. (2009) 'On the Road: reclaiming Korol Lir', in Literature/Film Quarterly. vol. 37 (2) , pp.97-108
  • Kurosawa, Akira; Mifune, Toshiro. (c2001) Throne of blood, London: BFI.
  • Shakespeare, William. (2010) The taming of the shrew, London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare.
  • William Shakespeare; Grace Ioppolo. (2008) King Lear: an authoritative text, sources, criticisms, adaptations and responses, New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Krantz, David. (2008) 'Tracking the Sounds of Franco Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew', in Literature/Film Quarterly. (36.2)
  • Walker, Elsie. (2000) 'Pop Goes the Shakespeare: Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.', in Literature/Film Quarterly. (28.2)
  • Shakespeare, William. (c2014) Macbeth: the text of Macbeth, the actors' gallery, sources and contexts, criticism, afterlives, resources, New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Martinelli, Gabriella; Luhrmann, Baz; Shakespeare, William; DiCaprio, Leonardo; Danes, Claire. (c2002) William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
  • Martinez, Dolores. (2018) 'From 'Scottish Play' to Japanese Film: Kurosawa's Throne of Blood', in Arts. (7.5) , pp.1-11

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Online Portfolio     15% 
Coursework   Formative assessment: Essay plan and introduction    0% 
Coursework   Essay (3000 words) or a piece of creative writing (2,500 words plus commentary of 750 words)    80% 
Practical   Participation    5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Mary Mazzilli, email:
Dr Nora Williams
LiFTS General Office, email: Telephone: 01206 872626



External examiner

Prof Duncan James Salkeld
University of Chichester
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
Available via Moodle
Of 45 hours, 30 (66.7%) hours available to students:
15 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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