"Reverse thy [disc]/ And in thy best consideration check:" Shakespeare's King Lear in the Digital Age

Poonperm Paitayawat

Research output: Working paper


Our digital age witnesses the multiplicity of textual and theatrical Shakespeare commodified to reach out to diverse groups of audience and in ways that would have never been imagined decades ago. Very often these two seemingly opposite features of text and performance converge as codified mixed media, which not only renders Shakespeare’s work its digital perpetuity but also controverts the traditional approach to literary studies as well as reception of Shakespeare’s plays themselves. This research paper will attempt to broadly re-define “Digital Shakespeare” and demystify these commercial, digital phenomena by closely examining three very unique adaptations of Shakespeare’s King Lear that have recently been digitally re-circulated.

The case studies will include (1) Michael Grandage’s King Lear (2010-11) at London’s Donmar Theatre as broadcast live at the Odeon Cinema Covent Garden (2) Manga Shakespeare: King Lear by Ave! Comics digitised as an iPhone and an iPad application and (3) Peter Brook’s film King Lear (2005) electronically purchased and watched on a computer screen, which will be individually as well as comparatively assessed as performances and texts of Shakespeare’s King Lear in their own right. Not only that the research paper will problematise and de-problematise the means by which one can encounter digital Shakespeare but it will also map out the ways in which the digital text vis-à-vis performance can be envisioned, understood and utilised as derivative tools for progressive literary studies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - Oct 2011

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