Thanks to everyone for their comments on last week's discussion - and for Modelling_Mushi's advice concerning aliens and pizza. Fear not but that it has been duly noted in the ledger of my memory.
Now, as you may already know, Twitter has a weekly hashtag called #ShakespeareSunday in which people are encouraged to post favourite extracts from the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare. And this of course got me to thinking - Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World' explicitly quotes Shakespeare's The Tempest (where Prospero's daughter Miranda says: 'O wonder! / How many goodly creatures are there here! / How beauteous mankind is! / O brave new world
That has such people in't!') - although there the similarity ends. Not so with classic Sci-Fi movie 'Forbidden Planet' which is a reworking of the same play.
So, the question this week is about 'Shakespeare in Space?' - in other words, which play or plays do you think either have (or in the future could) lend themselves to a revisioning in a Science or Speculative Fiction setting? For many reasons, 'Hamlet' seems to be an obvious contender, but there are surely many others. And after all, it does kind of make sense seeing how, in his own turn, Shakespeare used well-known stories and histories himself as the basis for his plays e.g. Anthony and Cleopatra. So what do we think?
Are you kidding? If it concerns human nature, probably all of them with the technology taken in to consideration for the time related subject under consideration to include: love, lust, greed, hate, envy, comedy and twists of fate. Seriously, look at DiCaprio's Romeo and Juliette. Word for word in New Jersey. Who cares about what exit.
Hmmm. I did enjoy the Baz Luhrmann take on Romeo + Juliet, though there were a few instances where the story jarred against the modern setting - I did like the way they renamed their weaponry!
I guess almost any Shakespeare play would suit a fantasy setting - though based in-part on the The Accursed Kings books by Maurice Druon, I'd say Martin's Game of Thrones throws a few nods in Shakespeare's direction. It's seeing possibilities beyond the original text requires a leap. Forbidden Planet has always been one of my favourite pieces of Science Fiction celluloid - Leslie Nielsen in a rare straight role - but it was how the film used the motifs from the play that I enjoyed. Hamlet, Macbeth and Richard III have all been converted to modern settings, though they tend to be ambiguous as to where and when. Which, I guess, is the trick. It's not necessarily the setting or the characters that make the play, it's the concepts that Shakespeare was playing around with. Revenge is always a good plot device, whether bloody as in Hamlet or more cerebral as in The Tempest. A another one of my favourite plays, I'd like to see Titus Andronicus shifted to a new setting. Sounds like I just challenged myself with a new project!
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