This book is the first edited collection to explore Shakespeare’s life as depicted on the modern stage and screen. Focusing on the years 1998-2023, it uniquely identifies a 25-year trend for depicting Shakespeare, his family and his social circle in theatre, film and television.
Interrogating Shakespeare’s afterlife across stage and screen media, the volume explores continuities and changes in the form since the release of Shakespeare in Love, which it positions as the progenitor of recent Shakespearean biofictions in Anglo-American culture. It traces these developments through the 21st century, from pivotal moments such as the Shakespeare 400 celebrations in 2016, up to the quatercentenary of the publication of the First Folio, whose portrait helped make the author a globally recognisable icon. The collection takes account of recent Anglo-American socio-political, cultural and literary concerns including feminism, digital media and the biopic and superhero genres.
The wide variety of works discussed range from All is True and Hamnet to Upstart Crow, Bill and even The Lego Movie. Offering insights from actors, dramatists and literary and performance scholars, it considers why artists are drawn to Shakespeare as a character and how theatre and screen media mediate his status as literary genius.