Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11532
The aim of this essay is to explore the negative and positive effects resulting from various attempts to modernise Shakespeare’s Richard III. It attempts to show how the play has changed in the process of being transferred from the stage to television, radio and cinema and what reasons lies behind the action having been changed either spatially and temporally.It begins with a brief account of the best-known adaptations of Richard III for stage and film, opening Cibber’s famous and popular version from 1699 and ending in 2011 with an adaptation by the theatre company, Less Than Rent. It then goes on to explores what types of changes have been made to Shakespeare’s language over the past four centuries. On most occasions, such changes mainly resided in modernizing the spelling, but occasionally adaptation of play’s language has included incorporating sentences from other works by Shakespeare or other changes to the text seemingly motivated by a desire to give a better idea of the historical context of the work. Most of the attempts to modernise and/or simplify the language have generally had a negative affect on the play. Especially, the desire to make Shakespearean’s English more understandable to contemporary audiences has tended to reduce, or at least undermine, the comic and festive elements of the play. The essay then discusses a selection of adaptations to stage and film and shows how they emphasize different aspects of the work. Finally, the discussion focuses on an analysis of various changes and how adaptions to the characters have affected the nature and meaning of the play.