Is Shakespeare Becoming Dated?

The beloved 90s rom-com "10 Things I Hate About You" rips off of the play "The Taming of the Shrew" in an updated way that caters to a female audience. In the Shakespearean play, Kat is deprived of food and sleep for many days as a method of "taming" her. What may have been suitable treatment of a wife during the Renaissance Period is reflected as Stockholm Syndrome now. This would make an interesting article, looking at Shakespeare’s famous stories and how Hollywood is taking steps to modernize them.

  • An interesting example, that through modernizing also heavily dated itself: Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet (1996). I personally love this film but it feels like a 90s film. – Celeste Reeb 9 years ago
  • The easy answer is yes, Shakespeare is dated. It's just so dated that we don't even recognize the dated aspects of it. The reason we can notice that a 90s movie is a 90s movie is because we've seen enough 90s movies to recognize the common tropes of the time. With Shakespeare, though, we have very little to compare it to. The vast majority of us are not familiar with much, if any writing contemporary with Shakespeare. Shakespeare uses a lot of jokes, tropes, and such that seems clever and original to us, because we've never seen them used before. Imagine if there was only one 90s movie that most people had seen. People would probably see it as artistically unique and special, even though it's just another 90s movie. Not to belittle Shakespeare, just a thought to keep in mind. – OddballGentleman 9 years ago
  • Technically speaking, William Shakespeare's works can't ever be truly "dated" since he invented so many words/phrases we still use ("cold-blooded" and "off with his head" etc.) besides the aforementioned story themes and hidden word puns. And of course, plays such as Othello touch upon issues like racism which further help to keep Shakespeare current today. With the more problematic plays like "The Taming of the Shrew, as mentioned in the topic, maybe they could be modernized in an ironic way, highlight how offensive the sexism and abuse are now to contrast their dated origins of the 1500s. – dsoumilas 9 years ago
  • Interesting topic, though a few points you should consider is that Shakespeare is still popular and still being played because most of his pieces contain subject matters that are still relevant today: love (and what it does to a person), hate (and how one deals with it), revenge (Is revenge justifiable? And at what point? What is it that makes someone feel like they have to get back at someone to feel at ease?), death (What is death? What does death mean to a living, breathing human, and what is it that makes death so frightening?) , etc, etc. I think for this subject, you'd need to dig very deeply and cover different countries with different cultures that still preform and love Shakespeare, and what factor connects it all in the end. What is it that makes actors want to preform such dated theatre? Why is it, that even though we all have different backgrounds, speak different languages, and come from different countries, Shakespeare still manages to amaze us all? And as a last thing, it's really important to consider the differences between modern Shakespeare performances and original preformed plays. Because that is the one thing that will probably make the difference in your article. – AyakaHoshina 9 years ago
  • Every performance/adaptation of Shakespeare that you see today is being interpreted from a modern perspective and we will take the bits of it we recognise and change the bits we don't. The most fabulous version of Taming of the Shrew I saw was by a company called Propeller - an all male theatre company (like the original context) that turned Shrew into a tragedy with Kate a broken women at the end, saying her speeches out of fear. If we look at versions such as Luhrmann's (best Shakespeare on film ever, btw) or, indeed The Lion King (kind of based on Hamlet) it is placed in a heightened world where the plot makes sense, (gang war, the animal kingdom...) but Shakespeare, like fairytales, will never be dated whilst we can still recognise aspects of it in the modern world (like misogyny, racism, the overwhelming need for love at all costs...) – Francesca Turauskis 9 years ago
  • Interesting. But how is the body of this topic related to its title? – T. Palomino 2 years ago

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