Hello my good fellows, if you’ve been reading my recent blog posts then you know that for the last few weeks we’ve been looking at Romeo and Juliet and how that classic story is adapted to modern times. When hearing that your mind most likely automatically goes to much more straight forward adaptions of the story like the Lurman version of Romeo and Juliet or maybe Gnomeo and Juliet. However, just yesterday I had a huge revelation about adaptions of Shakespeare in general.
The first thing you should know is that my family had decided to watch West Side Story, which happens to be an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. But when I was watching I kept trying to pinpoint different parts of the plot from the original play like which character was which and how they got the lovers to die. But it was actually pretty hard because a lot of the characters that are important to the plot had been pretty much either split into different roles or merged with one another. However, I didn’t think too much of it until I was thinking about what to write for my weekly blog post and thought back to the adaptions we had been reading and watching over the last few weeks. I realized that the ones we had been analyzing all were extremely close to the original which I think gave a lot of us in the class the preface that adaptions had to be really close to the original work when in reality all the adaptions need is to take the main ideas of the story and transform it into something new that is worth watching. So great adaptions are often overlooked, this is especially true for Shakespeare adaptions because the stories are often fairly easy to adapt so a lot of the time no one really notices that it is actually an adaptation. One example could be the Lion King which is very clearly based off Hamlet but because there is enough differences it is treated as a totally separate piece of media.
Really what I’m trying to say is there is probably so many stories that I have read or seen that is based off of Shakespeare that neither I nor many other have realized are adaptions which is a true tragedy.