Caught between presence and absence: Shakespeare's tragic women on film

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/100153
Title:
Caught between presence and absence: Shakespeare's tragic women on film
Authors:
Scott, Lindsey A.
Abstract:
In offering readings of Shakespeare’s tragic women on film, this thesis explores bodies that are caught between signifiers of absence and presence: the woman’s body that is present with absent body parts; the woman’s body that is spoken about or alluded to when absent from view; the woman’s living body that appears as a corpse; the woman’s body that must be exposed and concealed from sight. These are bodies that appear on the borderline of meaning, that open up a marginal or liminal space of investigation. In concentrating on a state of ‘betweenness’, I am seeking to offer new interpretive possibilities for bodies that have become the site of much critical anxiety, and bodies that, due to their own peculiar liminality, have so far been critically ignored. In reading Shakespeare’s tragic women on film, I am interested specifically in screen representations of Gertrude’s sexualised body that is both absent and present in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Desdemona’s (un)chaste body that is both exposed and concealed in film adaptations of Othello; Juliet’s ‘living corpse’ that represents life and death in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; the woman’s naked body in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth (1971) that is absent from Shakespeare’s play-text; and Lavinia’s violated, dismembered body in Julie Taymor’s (Titus, 1999) and Titus Andronicus, which, in signifying both life and death, wholeness and fragmentation, absence and presence, something and nothing, embodies many of the paradoxes explored within this thesis. Through readings that demonstrate a combined interest in Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespeare films, and Shakespeare criticism, this thesis brings these liminal bodies into focus, revealing how an understanding of their ‘absent presence’ can affect our responses as spectators of Shakespeare’s tragedies on film.
Advisors:
Rees, Emma L. E.
Publisher:
University of Liverpool (University of Chester)
Publication Date:
Oct-2008
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/100153
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.advisorRees, Emma L. E.en
dc.contributor.authorScott, Lindsey A.en
dc.date.accessioned2010-06-02T08:12:08Zen
dc.date.available2010-06-02T08:12:08Zen
dc.date.issued2008-10en
dc.identifieruk.bl.ethos.511042en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/100153en
dc.description.abstractIn offering readings of Shakespeare’s tragic women on film, this thesis explores bodies that are caught between signifiers of absence and presence: the woman’s body that is present with absent body parts; the woman’s body that is spoken about or alluded to when absent from view; the woman’s living body that appears as a corpse; the woman’s body that must be exposed and concealed from sight. These are bodies that appear on the borderline of meaning, that open up a marginal or liminal space of investigation. In concentrating on a state of ‘betweenness’, I am seeking to offer new interpretive possibilities for bodies that have become the site of much critical anxiety, and bodies that, due to their own peculiar liminality, have so far been critically ignored. In reading Shakespeare’s tragic women on film, I am interested specifically in screen representations of Gertrude’s sexualised body that is both absent and present in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Desdemona’s (un)chaste body that is both exposed and concealed in film adaptations of Othello; Juliet’s ‘living corpse’ that represents life and death in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; the woman’s naked body in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth (1971) that is absent from Shakespeare’s play-text; and Lavinia’s violated, dismembered body in Julie Taymor’s (Titus, 1999) and Titus Andronicus, which, in signifying both life and death, wholeness and fragmentation, absence and presence, something and nothing, embodies many of the paradoxes explored within this thesis. Through readings that demonstrate a combined interest in Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespeare films, and Shakespeare criticism, this thesis brings these liminal bodies into focus, revealing how an understanding of their ‘absent presence’ can affect our responses as spectators of Shakespeare’s tragedies on film.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherUniversity of Liverpool (University of Chester)en
dc.rightsscreenshots reproduced under s.30 (1) of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. Further re-use (except as permitted by law) is not allowed.en
dc.subjectwomenen
dc.subjectShakespeare's playsen
dc.subjectfilm adaptationsen
dc.subjectHamleten
dc.subjectOthelloen
dc.subjectRomeo and Julieten
dc.subjectMacbethen
dc.subjectTitus Andronicusen
dc.titleCaught between presence and absence: Shakespeare's tragic women on filmen
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhDen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
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