SCAENA Conference 2008

Shakespeare and his Contemporaries: Performance and Adaptation

List of Abstracts

Please click on a title to view the abstract in full.

1.    “Between Topicality and Remembrance?  Recent Productions of The Merchant of Venice in Germany,” Zeno Ackermann

2.    “ ‘John Webster? Do we have a chance to interview him later on?’: Mike Figgis’s Hotel (2001) and the Preposterous Aesthetic of the Contemporary Jacobean Film,” Pascale Aebischer

3.    “William and Geoffrey,” Catherine Belsey

4.    “Ariel’s Liberty,” Katherine Steele Brokaw

5.    “Re-Reading John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Re-Writing Tragedy: Margaret Cavendish's The Unnatural Tragedy,” Dr. Linda Burnett

6.    “Macbeth’s Kitchen,” Maurizio Calbi

7.    “Shakespeare and the Coming of Sound: Sam Taylor’s Taming of the Shrew,” Deborah Cartmell

8.    “Ghosts and the Dead in Three Cinematic Hamlets,” Hsiang-chun Chu

9.    “ ‘You kiss like a movie star’: A Contemporary Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet,” Pietro Deandrea

10.    “Early Modern Central European Reception of English Plays,” Pavel Drábek

11.    “Edouard Lekston's Serigraphs and Drawings: a contemporary pictorial interpretation of Shakespeare's plays,” Pascale Drouet

12.    “Shakespeare and the Making of Theatre,” Bridget Escolme and Stuart Hampton-Reeves

13.    “Brush up your Shakespeare: Genre-shift in four film adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew,” Kinga Foldvay

14.    “Kabuki Shakespeare: Ninagawa’s Twelfth Night,” Seiji Furuya

15.    “Sit Tight and Think of Orton: Author-izing a Farcical Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta at the Royal Shakespeare Company,” Laura Grace Godwin

16.    “Shakespeare’s the Man: Cultural Value and Pleasure in Teen Shakespeare Films,” Reina Green

17.    “Shakespeare’s Mirror Image: Cinematic Appropriations of the Theatrical in Transatlantic Imagery,” D.J. Hopkins

18.    “Peter Ackroyd's Shakespeare: the Biography and Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World or facts and fiction about Maister William Shakespeare,” Urszula Kizelbach

19.    “Costumes in Shakespearean Films,” Robert Lublin

20.    “Plenary session and workshop to mark the completion of the International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio project,” Luke McKernan, Eve-Marie Oesterlen and Olwen Terris

21.    “Watching Canada Watching Harlem Duet at the 2006 Stratford Festival,” James Mckinnon

22.    “Poaching from the poacher: Shakespeare, adaptation and pedagogy,” Michael Mangan

23.    “ ‘Are you familiar with this play?’ De-writing ‘Hamlet’ in Contemporary Drama,” Aneta Mancewicz

24.    “Murder in Performance/Performance in Murder – Jacobean Tragedy and the Detective Novel,”                     Dr. Esme Miskimmin

25.    “Stephen Greenblatt's Cardenio,” Theodora Papadopoulou

26.    “Making-Up Shore’s Wife: Creative Choices behind the Use of Cosmetics in Staging The True Tragedy of Richard III,” Jennifer Rae McDermott

27.    “ 'Downright unsaxogrammatical' - Do postcolonial and subaltern adaptations contest, or reinforce Shakespeare's canonical status?,” Jenni Ramone

28.    “Forgetting the horrors. A Jungian reading of Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb,” Ewa Sawicka

29.    “ ‘Of nature and of nations speak aloud’: Silviu Purcarete’s Troilus and Cressida in Budapest, 2005,” Veronika Schandl

30.    “Performing memorial: Site-specific Shakespeare performance and the authenticity of resurrection,” Johanna Schmitz

31.    “Shakespeare, Trauma and Titus Andronicus,” Catherine Silverstone

32.    “ ‘Be bloody, bold, and resolute’: Performing Shakespeare in the Age of Terror,” Rebecca Steinberger

33.    “ ‘My dream was lengthened after life’: Ghosts in Michael Boyd’s history cycle.” Kate Wilkinson
Zeno Ackermann (Freie Universität, Berlin)

“Between Topicality and Remembrance?  Recent Productions of The Merchant of Venice in Germany”
In spite of - or exactly because of - its precarious engagement with anti-Semitic stereotypes, The Merchant of Venice returned to (West-)German stages surprisingly soon after 1945, and it has continued to be among the more frequently performed plays in the reunified Germany. Particularly since the 1960s, Shakespeare's play has served as a seminal object for confrontations with the "German past" of anti-Semitism and genocide. Performances of it have initiated, foregrounded or complicated cultural negotiations between conflicting -- and frequently combined -- processes of repression, forgetting and remembrance. Proceeding from a brief sketch of this theatrical tradition the talk will focus on current productions of the play. It will investigate how these situate themselves within the present moment, which in Germany is characterized by (1) a fully medialized "memory culture", in which the past of National Socialism and the Shoah is persistently re-presented, but also may have come to seem increasingly distant and transformable/disposable; (2) an anxious debate on the development of capitalism and on the future of the welfare state; and (3) re-emergent ideologies of ethnicity along with controversial debates on multiculturalism.
The paper emerges from a research project which has just been set up by Prof. Sabine Schülting at Berlin's Free University under the title "Shylock und der (neue) 'deutsche Geist' -- Shakespeares Der Kaufmann von Venedig nach 1945".

Pascale Aebischer (Exeter University)

“‘John Webster? Do we have a chance to interview him later on?’: Mike Figgis’s Hotel (2001) and the Preposterous Aesthetic of the Contemporary Jacobean Film”

Mike Figgis’s Hotel (2001), which contains a film-within-the-film adaptation of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, is representative of an emerging corpus of screen versions of Jacobean drama which aggressively pitch themselves against the conservative nostalgia characteristic of mainstream screen Shakespeares. Hotel is deliberate in its use of anachronism, narrative disjunction and irreverence towards its source text, troping the revival of Webster’s play as both cultural cannibalism and the production of an easily digestible ‘fast-food McMalfi.’ The contemporary Jacobean aesthetic it espouses is preposterous, in George Puttenham’s terms, in that it deliberately misplaces temporal and spatial relationships to articulate the transgressive female desire that challenges the structures of the film industry and early modern society alike. Tracing its descent from Derek Jarman’s queer The Tempest (1971) and Edward II (1991), and setting itself against the Shakespeare heritage industry as represented by its immediate predecessor Shakespeare in Love (1999), Figgis’s Hotel employs digital technology, improvisation and intertextual dialogue to challenge not only Shakespeare’s cultural hegemony, but also the domination of the heteronormative male gaze in conventional cinema. If Hotel is a film ‘about’ how to produce a fast-food McMalfi for a contemporary audience, Figgis’s use of the preposterous contemporary Jacobean aesthetic makes of The Duchess of Malfi ‘about’ the making of Hotel, ‘about’ man’s control of transgressive female sexuality in the medium of film.

Catherine Belsey (University of Wales, Swansea)

“William and Geoffrey”

In a scene from As You Like It often cut in performance a newcomer to the play lays claim to the hand of Audrey. When it becomes evident that he cannot compete with the witty court-clown Touchstone, this tongue-tied countryman equably relinquishes his suit. He comes from the Forest of Arden and his name is William. The episode, in consequence, might have had certain resonances for the Globe audience in 1599 that are not easily reproduced now. Another stolid William features in an equally incidental scene of The Merry Wives of Windsor, while the common soldier Williams imperturbably challenges the king in Henry V. If these appearances were in-jokes at the time, where might Shakespeare have got the idea?

Katherine Steele Brokaw (University of Michigan)

“Ariel’s Liberty”

Inspired by Julian Bleach’s performance of an eerie, lugubrious Ariel for the 2006-07 RSC Tempest (dir. Rupert Goold), I want to ask how, exactly, an actor creates the character “Ariel” out of the textual role. After exploring Shakespeare’s vague and often contradictory clues as to how an “ayrie spirit” looks, moves, and speaks, I ask how the body and voice of a specific actor, Julian Bleach, is a hermeneutic site that re-wrights the character in ways that are left unspecified by Shakespeare’s ambiguous text. With his reluctant, metronomic prowl and his resonant yet nasal voice that ranged from shrill falsetto to rough baritone, Bleach fully utilized all the tools of an actor’s body; posture, movement, gesture, and voice physicalized this Ariel in profoundly memorable ways. Evoking Beckett’s Endgame, Mary Shelley’s monster, Nosferatu, and an impoverished monk, and yet creating a character who was, in one reviewer’s words “utterly original,” Bleach’s Ariel asked of the play: “What is it to be human, and is being human such a desired state? And to what extent is that vague concept we call ‘other’ problematically equated with non-humanness?” By depicting enslavement as othered and viewing it as a forced performance, Bleach’s Ariel took away Caliban’s breath; in this production Prospero’s airy spirit carried servitude’s social and emotional weight. Indeed, I would argue that, by inverting the hierarchies of master and slave, star and supporting actor, Bleach’s Ariel even “o’erthrew” Patrick Stewart’s Prospero. Julian Bleach’s Ariel thus is a site for understanding not only the relationships between scripted and performed bodies but also how exceeding the disciplines of the text pushes hard on questions of theatrical meanings.

Dr. Linda Burnett (Algoma University, Canada)

Re-Reading John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Re-Writing Tragedy: Margaret Cavendish's The Unnatural Tragedy

In this paper, I focus on Margaret Cavendish’s The Unnatural Tragedy (1662), a re-vision of John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1633), and an early manifestation of a tradition of women's writing in which critical commentary appears in a creative text. Double voiced, The Unnatural Tragedy functions as both critique of and tribute to Ford’s play. Clearly, Cavendish’s The Unnatural Tragedy takes issue with Ford’s association of female speech and sexual transgression in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. At the same time, however, Cavendish’s play celebrates Ford’s attempt to challenge the ideology of a genre in which certain notions of romantic love and male honour are privileged. In The Unnatural Tragedy, Cavendish re-works Ford’s play to destabilize both tragedy and what it represents in Cavendish’s patriarchal society, and, in the process, engages not only with Ford, but with Aristotle.

Maurizio Calbi (Università degli Studi di Salerno)

“Macbeth’s Kitchen”

“Bones and guts, fish-heads, knob ends of the black pudding, skins of haggis”: In Peter Moffat’s intriguing adaptation of Macbeth, which was first shown as part of the BBC Shakespeare Retold series in 2005, these are some of the food debris the witches-turned-bin men scoop up after the “hurly-burly” of a day in Joe Macbeth’s kitchen is “done” (1.1.3). These leftovers are also what allows them to “look into the seeds of time” (1.3.58) and predict—in an inescapably equivocal way—a bright future for the ambitious Scottish head-chef, whose fundamental contribution to the success of Duncan Docherty’s renowned Irish restaurant is not properly acknowledged.

The paper intends to analyse some of the strategies this adaptation employs in order to make the “original” palatable for contemporary TV audiences. In particular, it focuses on the all-male hierarchical heated world of the kitchen, where Macbeth’s honourable dissection of the enemy “from the nave to th’ chops” (1.2.22) becomes Joe Macbeth’s equally honourable slicing and dicing of the animal. “Respect” is the keyword in Macbeth’s kitchen. It primarily applies to the animal. (It means “no waste”, hence the prevalence of offal and innards in the restaurant’s menu). It anthropomorphizes the animal and, by the same token, brings the “human” disquietingly closer to the “animal”, in that it re-constitutes the “human” as the carnivorous “subject who eats well” (Jacques Derrida) and is thus more likely to become the human / animal who kills.

For Derrida, “the chef must be an eater of flesh, with a view to being ‘symbolically’ eaten himself” (“Eating Well”, 114). On the night of the award of three Michelin stars, the carnivorous “totemic” father / chef Duncan is offered a feast of a lifetime before being dispatched / symbolically eaten. The paper continues by concentrating on some of the effects of the murderous deed, especially in terms of the blurring of boundaries between the “private” sweaty and messy world of the kitchen and the “public” sanitised world of the restaurant over which Ella Macbeth presides. It concludes by arguing that adaptations such as Moffat’s allegorise the extent to which the “mangling” of the body of a Shakespearean text is the conditio sine qua non for its survival. They bear witness to the “uncanny presentness” of Shakespeare. Shakespeare remains “young in deed” (3.4.143).
Deborah Cartmell

“Shakespeare and the Coming of Sound: Sam Taylor’s Taming of the Shrew”

A reasonable assumption today is that the coming of sound, the ‘bringing back’ of Shakespeare’s words, would be welcome to Shakespeare critics and film critics, but, on the whole, it was greeted in the late 1920s and early 30s with fear and loathing.  Film enthusiasts’ concerns that film was being thrown back to its theatrical origins and that the talking film would be a much inferior version of both film and theatre were highly prevalent.  In the light of these debates, this paper looks at the first mainstream Shakespeare ‘talkie’, Sam Taylor’s The Taming of the Shrew (1929), its promotional literature and its early reception in the popular press as the first Shakespeare film.

Hsiang-chun Chu (National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan)

“Ghosts and the Dead in Three Cinematic Hamlets”

Stephen Greenblatt and Michael Neil have both underscored the change of the significance of death after Reformation. With the abolition of Purgatory and the dissolution of the chantries, easy communication with the dead is disrupted. The dead are forgotten, betrayed, or repressed. However, early modern English tragedy displays a morbid obsession to the subject of death. The dances of the death on the early modern stage are one of the cultural responses to the absence created by the period’s alienation from the dead.

Drawing on the Lacanian concept of the real, I would like to examine the issue of death in cinematic representations of ghosts and the dead in two Hamlets (directed by Kenneth Branagh and Michael Almereyda) and Prince of Himalaya (a Tibetan adaptation). Through this reading of three cinematic versions of Hamlet, we can compare how these modern adaptations transform and reconstruct the cultural significance of death. Besides highlighting the theme of human mortality, the appearance of ghosts brings to the surface the repressed desire, passion, or even guilt with them, all of which are the surplus, or the unassimilated stuff beyond the symbolic order. From a psychoanalytic perspective, encounters with a ghost represent the return of the real. In a metonymic operation, the skulls and the ghosts are the hard core of the Lacanian real. Trauma, the return of the repression, remembrance and forgetting—these are some central concerns that I would like to discuss in this project.

Pietro Deandrea (University of Torino, Italy)

“ ‘You kiss like a movie star’: A Contemporary Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet”

The starting point of this paper is the translation/adaptation of Romeo and Juliet  I wrote (in collaboration with the film director Marco Ponti) for the Teatro Stabile di Torino and U.R.T. company; under Gabriele Vacis’s direction, the text was staged in Verona and Torino and it later toured Northern Italy between 2005 and 2006. Ponti and I worked on the Shakespearean text trying to follow Vacis’s guideline about this specific version, ie transform the English language of the original into a contemporaneous dimension – into the language really spoken today by ‘youth’ in their thirties, rather than in their adolescence, with a consequent highlighting of the original text’s scurrilous facets.

In the course of our work we had a chance to verify directly how translations magnify the plurality of the Shakesperean text in many different ways, such as:

a) how can one transform a Shakespearean masterpiece into a fluent, ‘speakable’ (as opposed to ‘declaimable’) text while trying to maintain the lyrical power of the original? How much does one inevitably lose, if anything?

b) concerning the scurrility of the language, what observations can be produced about what specific theatre-going (or non theatre-going) communities expect from a  Shakespearean classic like Romeo and Juliet? How can such an operation be justified by a reflection on Shakespeare’s sources – in this case, Apuleius’s Metamorphoses, which is not often connected to this play?

c) what adaptations/insertions into the Shakespearean text are justifiable in order to achieve the abovementioned goals? How far can one go? In our case, how effective and ‘accepted’ did some modifications prove to be, like the prolonging of comedy over tragedy, the insertion of a salacious minstrel as a continuation of the Greek chorus and a substitution of the servants/musicians – thus working on the pendulum between comic and tragic analysed by several scholars, such as Susan Snyder – and the reference to contemporary media? In the latter case, how can a study of the concept of anachronism in Shakespeare’s time provide any support?

These reflections would be carried out also by making reference to the actual performances of the text as seen by some members of the company.

Pavel Drábek (Masaryk U, Brno, Czech Republic)

“Early Modern Central European Reception of English Plays”

The presence of travelling comedians on the European continent dates from the Earl of Leicester’s Men’s tour of the Netherlands, Denmark (the Helsingør Castle), and Germany in 1584 and 1585 (Gurr 1992). As several historians (Johannes Bolte, Walter Cohn, Jerzy Limon, Ralf Haekel) have observed, the impact of these generations of actors on continental culture has been lasting and profound. Most recently, Haekel (2004) has traced the beginnings of German professional theatre to the influence of the English itinerant troupes.

In a slightly different way, English plays diffused through Central European Jesuit drama (as evidenced by the archives in the Strahov Monastery in Prague), and vitally conditioned the rise of the only licensed form of public professional theatre in the vernacular in late C17 and early C18 Czech lands, marionette theatre. The dramaturgy of the travelling marionettists adopted and adapted a number of early modern English plays, such as Marlowe’s Dr Faustus (under the title Johanes Doktor Faust), Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (passing under a different name), or The Merchant of Venice (known as Šajlok). Remarkable variants of these plays have survived in manuscript collections of some of the marionettist families. The proposed paper discusses individual cases of surviving marionettist texts as well as the general structural (dramatic) principles that may be traced to their Elizabethan models and sources.

Pascale Drouet (University of Poitiers, France)

“Edouard Lekston's Serigraphs and Drawings: a contemporary pictorial interpretation of Shakespeare's plays”

This session would like to present the work of French illustrator Edouard Lekston. A graduate of Paris’s École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and a keen reader and illustrator of Shakespeare's plays, Lekston has been inspired by the tragedies and history plays for eight years now and has exhibited his serigraphs and drawings in Paris, Limoges and Poitiers.

His distinctive style, thoroughly personal and original, ranges from nearly childlike strokes, reminiscent of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's illustrations in The Little Prince, to sharply satirical lines evoking the ferocious caricatures of the French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné. Other influences include Medieval illuminations and engravings, or emblems, maps and tarot cards from the early modern period.

The session will provide the opportunity to display and analyse a selection of drawings and serigraphs, mainly from “Le Basculement” (Richard II) and “Family Gathering, ou la Danse Macabre de RIII”. Earlier illustrations of King Lear, Macbeth and Hamlet will also be considered, in light of Lekston’s ongoing fascination for the dynamics of the kings' rise and fall and the immutability of destiny, which accounts for much of their interpretative insight.

Bridget Escolme (Queen Mary) and Stuart Hampton-Reeves (Central Lancashire)

“Shakespeare and the Making of Theatre”

This panel will debate the critical gap between research and practice in the study of Shakespeare-in-performance. We argue that the challenge of modern Shakespeare-in-performance scholarship is to find a critical language for talking about the theatricality of Shakespeare’s work. Historical tastes in staging convention, a play's performance history, cultural and political changes, all shape the practitioner's decisions when producing a four hundred year old play. Yet a theatrical close reading of the text for what 'works' on stage is an intuitive starting point for the theatre practitioner. This panel will debate the ways in which the Shakespearean text might be dismantled for theatrical cues. It will deal with the material stuff of theatre production – props, fighting, entrances and exits – and ask questions about what we are looking for when we engage in theatrical close reading. The panel are all Shakespeareans who currently work in higher education but have a background in theatre practice. This proposal is a product of the international Shakespeare in Practice network established in 2007 and we will be drawing on the expertise in this network to shape our debate.

Kinga Foldvay (Pazmany University)

“Brush up your Shakespeare: Genre-shift in four film adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew”

Since the beginnings of film history, Shakespeare’s oeuvre has provided prime source material for creative adaptors and shameless looters, as shown by several famous (and even more infamous) loose re-creations of the plays, some of which are referred to by Tony Howard as “Shakespeare’s cinematic offshoots”. While it is clearly not the intention of my paper to lay down the rules of classification that could be used to arrange thousands of moving pictures into convenient categories, I wish to show how the adapting genre is a more significant factor in determining the reception of a film version than probably any other feature of the original dramatic work, as cinematic genre seems to have become the single most important factor to guide contemporary audiences in their choice. With the help of four cinematic Shrews, and references to the recent Shakespeare ReTold series of the BBC and Hallmark Channel, I intend to point out that as world cinema seems to be defined by genre rather than auteur films, the cinematic reception of literature is also defined along generic lines. What is more, I claim that this shifting of loyalties from text to genre is also in accordance with the creative spirit of the Bard himself, another famous looter who was exceptionally adept at brushing up his raw material and presenting it successfully in the popular genres of his own period.

Seiji Furuya (Seinan Gakuin University, Japan)

“Kabuki Shakespeare: Ninagawa’s Twelfth Night”

In this paper I would like to focus on Yukio Ninagawa’s production of Twelfth Night, which was performed at Kabuki-za in Tokyo in July, 2005.

Ninagawa (1935-) is celebrated for his numerous Shakespeare productions in Japanese translation, eighteen plays covered to date, with versions of Macbeth (1980), Hamlet (1998), and King Lear (1999-2000) winning particular acclaim, both internationally and in Japan. The Japanese dramatic idioms he applies to Shakepeare have resulted in unique productions. His Noh version of The Tempest (1987) was exceptionally well-received in the UK as well as in Japan. Ninagawa’s outstanding recent version of Twelfth Night, entitled Ninagawa Twelfth Night, marked his first production in the Kabuki style, and was enhanced by his employment of professional Kabuki performers, such as the major actor, Kikunosuke Onoe (1977-).

I aim to demonstrate that the success of this production depended on the intriguing proximity of elements within Twelfth Night, perhaps Shakespeare’s most romantic comedy, to the conventions of Kabuki, and outline the numerous parallels between the two artistic areas.  After outlining briefly some of the formal characteristics of Kabuki drama, I will refer to the striking visual force of this production, generally typical of Ninagawa Shakespeare, but especially so in this integration of Twelfth Night with the stylised gestures and spectacular costumes of Kabuki stagecraft. Ninagawa’s direction of the interplay between Shakespeare’s theme of disguise and that of Kabuki will be discussed in some detail. This paper will then consider some of the alternative effects achieved when Shakespearean dialogue is rendered into Kabuki-style Japanese.

Laura Grace Godwin (New Mexico State University)

“Sit Tight and Think of Orton: Author-izing a Farcical Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta at the Royal Shakespeare Company”

In the early years of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre, audiences were offered elaborate programmes that featured a play text and extensive background material on the text and its author.  These inexpensive editions supported the educational aims of the new space, providing unusual access to the rare pieces in the Swan Theatre’s repertoire.  But despite the explicitly interpretive nature of the introductory material in these editions, few academics have explored the Swan Theatre Plays and their impact upon audiences.

My paper will begin to fill this scholarly void by examining how Simon Trussler’s introduction to The Jew of Malta influenced the reception of Barry Kyle’s 1987 production.  Specifically, I will consider how Trussler’s evocation of the twentieth-century playwright Joe Orton worked to “author-ize” a revival of Marlowe’s controversial play.  By linking Marlowe’s work with Orton’s, Trussler laid the groundwork for a directorial inversion of genre that saw Marlowe’s tragedy played as black comedy.  In Kyle’s version, Barabas was not played as a stereotypically villainous stage Jew.  Instead, audiences encountered an entertaining figure who aroused sympathetic laughter rather than fear or hatred.  The burden of anti-Semitism was shifted from the shoulders of the audience to those of the characters who gravely conspired to bring about the downfall of an appealing comic hero.  Thus, the Company was able to stage Marlowe’s long neglected play while dodging accusations of anti-Semitism.

Trussler’s choice of contextualizing figure is telling, for someone looking to read The Jew of Malta as savage comedy could easily have referenced T.S. Eliot.  By eschewing respected scholarship for the dramaturgy of a controversial playwright, Trussler was able to activate a series of titillating biographical parallels between Marlowe and Orton that served both as a clever marketing ploy and as a means to reconfirm Shakespeare’s primacy in English theatrical tradition.

Reina Green (Mount St Vincent University)

“Shakespeare’s the Man: Cultural Value in Teen Shakespeare Films”
Many Shakespeare scholars are critical of teen film adaptations of his play and emphasize the dichotomy between Shakespeare as high culture and film as popular (low) culture.  Others insist that the relationship between Shakespeare and film, high and popular culture, is more complex and that the most successfully marketed film adaptations of Shakespeare obscure the distinction between high and popular culture, art and commerce, history and the present.  Such an argument can be applied to Andy Fickman’s ‘She’s the Man,’ his 2006 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Moreover, the differences between the theatrical and DVD editions of this film further complicate its cultural designation.
Firmly situated in the realm of popular culture, ‘She’s the Man’ draws on the Hollywood star system, reconfigures Shakespeare’s plot to the genre of teen romantic comedy, and presents the conservative mores characteristic of that genre. However, while the theatrical version barely acknowledges Shakespeare’s influence, the DVD includes commentaries, trivia, and interviews that highlight the connections between Fickman’s film and Shakespeare’s play.  In other words, the DVD draws attention to the cultural value assigned to Shakespeare in Bourdieu’s terms of cultural capital.  This emphasis on Shakespeare in the DVD suggests that cultural capital depends not only on the audience and its perception of Shakespeare, (whether the audience is comprised of Shakespeare scholars or high-school students), but also on the viewing situation, (whether it is at home or in the theatre, a first-time or later viewing), and whether a secondary audience - other age groups - are present.  Furthermore, the DVD edition assumes an educational role, identifying allusions to Shakespeare’s work for viewers who may be unaware of their presence.  In this manner, a connection is made between past and present, Shakespeare and Fickman, high and popular culture.  However, the audience is not simply encouraged to identify cultural capital with the high culture of Shakespeare and then, by association, to Fickman’s film. Rather, it is called on to associate a Barthesian pleasure of the text - of anticipation and identification - with moments of cultural fusion. Ultimately, even as ‘She’s the Man’ is firmly rooted in the popular culture of teen romantic comedy, the DVD edition draws attention to the cultural value traditionally associated with Shakespeare, and while it does not claim to possess this value, it emphasizes the pleasure associated with recognizing it and seeks to market that pleasure.

D.J. Hopkins (San Diego State University)

“Shakespeare’s Mirror Image: Cinematic Appropriations of the Theatrical in Transatlantic Imagery”

This presentation will consider post-cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The term "post-cinematic" is exemplified by Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books and Michael Almereyda's Hamlet, two films that have attained a canonical status in the field of Shakespeare on film. These films present the viewer with systematic critiques of cinema itself, and it is not coincidental that Shakespeare serves as the medium for these critiques.
Shakespeare's plays themselves play with their own medium, challenging representation to contain the pressures of performance. These film versions of Hamlet and The Tempest demonstrate not only a self-conscious engagement with their own medium, but offer viewers a complex valorization of the theatre's limitations. These same limitations are repurposed and revalorized in the recent stage version of Hamlet by the celebrated New York-based company The Wooster Group.

The Wooster Group's Hamlet (2007) relies on a digitally re-edited version of Richard Burton's 1964 film of the same play. More than a mere backdrop for the company's performance, the Burton film is the impetus for a high- tech investigation of the relationship between stage and screen performance in a televisual era, and, as well, a self-conscious exploration of the many theatrical ghosts in and of this play. The result is an inter-media "duet" that explores the limits of liveness while challenging the presumed integrity of cinematic representation.

Considered together, these films and the Woosters' stage production, offer a transatlantic discourse about Shakespeare and the Shakespearean.

Urszula Kizelbach (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland)

“Peter Ackroyd's Shakespeare: the Biography and Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World or facts and fiction about Maister William Shakespeare”

The figure of William Shakespeare has been shrouded in mystery for exactly 444 years. Peter Ackroyd is one of numerous researchers trying to address the question of Shakespeare's biography. Ackroyd's Shakespeare is an ordinary man, first, an ordinary boy from the countryside, then a student, finally an actor and playwright, who takes advantage of his learning and sharp eye, and grabs opportunities in life. Ackroyd sees Shakespeare as the sole author of his plays, who reflects in his works the social and political reality of Elizabethan England, as well as his personal experiences, apprehensions, hobbies. Ackroyd is, above all, a writer of fiction, who acts as an omniscient narrator and commentator, and who does not hesitate to use the word "probably" or "conjecture". Ackroyd's novel does not aspire to be a serious literary biography, but neither does it read as just a pretty story. The problem of non-fictional fiction and fictional non-fiction is also one pertaining to Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World, formally, a more or less traditional biography, yet one which reads quite often like speculative fiction. The aim of the paper is therefore to compare the two biographies and discuss the freedom of the "biographers" to exploit the white spots in Shakespeare's life.

Robert Lublin (University of Massachussets)

“Costumes in Shakespearean Films”

Costumes were crucial to early modern English drama, typically representing a playing company’s single greatest financial investment. Shakespeare and his contemporaries made extensive use of theatrical apparel in their works, actively establishing the visual world of their productions by writing specific costume choices into their plays. These choices had far reaching consequences, establishing their characters’ identities to a high degree of specificity before an audience that was familiar with the visual semiotics of the period.

Audiences watching cinematic renditions of Shakespeare’s plays today, however, are typically unfamiliar with the visual codes that were well known to late sixteenth and early seventeenth century playgoers. References to hats, doublets, silk, and swords that carried complex signification when first uttered on stage are virtually meaningless to the great majority of those who regularly attend the movies. My essay examines how films have responded to this challenge. Three productions I will consider are the 1953 Julius Caesar (directed by Josheph Makiewicz and starring Marlon Brando), the 1996 Romeo + Juliet (directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardy DiCaprio), and the 1996 Hamlet (directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh). Each of these movies worked to create a coherent visual world that alternatively drew upon and challenged the visual codes written into Shakespeare’s text. Such a study ultimately requires that we reconsider and more thoroughly theorize what it means to create a production that is ‘historically accurate.’

Luke McKernan, Eve-Marie Oesterlen and Olwen Terris

“Plenary session and workshop to mark the completion of the International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio project”

Plenary session (45 mins)
An International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio is a three-year project funded by the AHRC and hosted by the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC). The aim of the project has been to create a comprehensive database of all Shakespearean film and television production, and radio production in the UK and USA, from 1898 to the present day. The project has also investigated other forms of audio Shakespeare, and online video. The complete resource, comprising some 5,000 records, is intended to be a major research tool, maintained and updated with fresh distribution information by the BUFVC post-project. Even in its interim form the database has begun to have a noticeable influence on academic work in this field, and is being cited in papers as a standard source.

The database will receive its official launch at this plenary session. The presentation will be in three parts: a summary of the research rationale behind the project, discussion of the practical methods employed in its construction and the issues faced, and a concluding set of questions about the changing nature of audiovisual Shakespeare and of academic approaches in this field. At the start of the project, the areas of film, television and radio seemed clear cut, along with an understanding of what made them Shakespearean (from ‘straight’ versions to varying degrees of adaptation or homage). The rise of YouTube, cross-platform deliveries, and a complementary academic engagement with the subject which embraces the oblique and questions the boundaries of ‘Shakespeare-ness’, have presented challenges which the database work has had to face. We hope that the resource we have produced is both a rigorous reflection of what has been created in this field, and something which may accommodate the inevitable changes in audiovisual Shakespeare studies that are to come.

Workshop (1 hour)
The project team behind An International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio will host a demonstration of the database. This will be designed to demonstrate both its simple and its complex search functions, and how the database can be used not only as a finding tool but as a means to structure and analyse new kinds of research questions. There will illustration of types of enquiry that the database can answer, and a chance for those attending to test it out with particular questions. Advice will also be given on accessing and using audiovisual Shakespeare materials in an academic setting.

James Mckinnon

“Watching Canada Watching Harlem Duet at the 2006 Stratford Festival”

“Before Harlem Duet, Canadian Stage had never produced a work by an author of … African descent.  And the problem with Canadian Stage is that it’s called Canadian Stage, and it represents Canada, and I’m thinking, ‘I’m Canadian, so it must represent me.’ ”   Djanet Sears

In 1998, scholar Ric Knowles interviewed playwright Djanet Sears about how her new play addressed her frustration with the failure of mainstream Canadian theatres to reflect the ethnic diversity of Canadian society.  Noting that the production at Canadian Stage represented a symbolic milestone for African-Canadian theatre, Knowles asked Sears, “at what point does Harlem Duet change Stratford?”  Eight years later, his question was finally answered, when the Stratford Festival of Canada announced that Harlem Duet would be the first “black” play in its 54 year history.  But did Harlem Duet change Stratford, or vice versa?

Winner of the 1998 Governor-General’s Award for English Drama in Canada, Harlem Duet imagines Othello as an English professor who abandons his Black wife for Desdemona.  Critics have noted how Sears appropriates Shakespeare in order to expose and critique the “hegemonic whiteness” that Susan Bennett says is the “default position for the Western audience”.  But how did this strategy work when the play, initially produced by an independent black theatre company in urban Toronto, was remounted at North America’s largest Shakespeare festival?  Stratford marketed the production as the beginning of a new, more inclusive era, but Knowles, in Reading the Material Theatre (2004), argues that the conditions of production and reception attendant in mainstream theatre production often thwart even the most committed attempts to challenge dominant values on the stage.  This paper will read the reception of Harlem Duet at Stratford to examine how cultural and material pressures shaped the cultural work it did at North America’s biggest festival.

Michael Mangan (Exeter University)

“Poaching from the poacher: Shakespeare, adaptation and pedagogy”

According to legend and Nicholas Rowe (1709) the young William Shakespeare “made a frequent practice of deer-stealing” in Sir Thomas Lucy’s manor at Charlecote, near Stratford.  According to Henry Jenkins (1992) Textual Poaching is a mode of reception, a form of resistant reading or “viewer activism” by which interpretive communities appropriate texts for their own purposes. Drawing on theorists such as de Certeau and John Fiske, Jenkins explores the way in which such poaching transforms the experience of fandom from one of consumer to that of participant.. This paper explores the resonances of Jenkins’ model of poaching as a form of cultural production in terms of adaptation as a pedagogic process. Using examples taken from undergraduate and masters’ classes it discusses a range of adaptive strategies and some of their implications.

Aneta Mancewicz, (Kazimierz Wielki University, Poland)

“ ‘Are you familiar with this play?’ De-writing ‘Hamlet’ in Contemporary Drama”

Hamlet, described by Tom Stoppard as “the most famous play in any language, […] part of a sort of common mythology,” has an exceptional status – each time the play is performed, most audience members instead of wondering what is going to happen are rather speculating how the well-known events will be represented, which creates a particular bond between the actors and the public. Over the last decades, this bond has been re-examined by several European playwrights – rewriting the story of the Shakespearean Prince, such dramatists as Tom Stoppard, Heiner Müller, Janusz Głowacki, Saverio La Ruina or Igor Bauersima have challenged the memory of the viewers, presenting fragmentary, incoherent or concealed images from Hamlet.
The new dramatic adaptations tend to continue rich traditions of burlesque and pastiche of the tragedy, yet they also exhibit several features which Ihab Hassan finds characteristic of post-modernism, such as decentralization, disappearance, or deconstruction. Researching dramatic adaptations of “Hamlet” written over the last few decades, I have been extensively analyzing deconstructive tendencies in the presentation of the tragedy and the tragic hero. Deconstructive rewriting (which I termed as de-writing) both re-establishes and subverts its source, by means of fragmentation, displacement, disintegration, parody, irony, and other similar techniques. Supplementing the Shakespearean source with current and local meanings, deconstructive dramatists aim at revealing its voids and inconsistencies; they demonstrate that tragedy is inseparably linked with burlesque, presence with absence, logic with absurdity, freedom with determinism, and memory with amnesia. Despite its post-modern appeal, strategies of de-writing might be traced in the very structure of “Hamlet” – one of the most interrogative, paradoxical, and contradictory works in Western literature.

In my conference paper, I will shift the focus from Stoppard to other contemporary playwrights, who might be less known to the conference participants: Głowacki (“Fortinbras Gets Drunk”), Bauersima (“Factory”), and La Ruina (“Kitsch Hamlet”).

Dr. Esme Miskimmin (University of Liverpool)

“Murder in Performance/Performance in Murder – Jacobean Tragedy and the Detective Novel”

In Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder, a line spoken during a performance of The Duchess of Malfi triggers memories of a killing committed twenty years previously; a line that provides the detective and, if we are astute, the reader, with a clue to the murderer’s identity. Whilst this is a brief episode within Christie’s novel, it serves as an excellent example of the recurring presence of Jacobean tragedy within the puzzle-story genre of British detective fiction that begins with the interwar ‘Golden Age’ and extends to its various incarnations in the present day.

Initially, it may seem as though the two genres are poles apart – not just in time, but in received perceptions of their relative literary/artistic merits. Through close textual reading of Ngaio Marsh’s Light Thickens (murder on-stage during a performance of Macbeth) and P.D. James’ The Skull Beneath the Skin (murder of the lead role during rehearsals for The Duchess of Malfi), this paper seeks to explore the ways in which the novelists utilise the themes and conventions of their dramatic sources beyond the generic prerequisites of untimely death. This investigation raises a number of points for discussion about both genres, including their presentation and exploration of artifice, a shared concern with the metatheatrical/metatextual and, linked to this, a similar pre-occupation with/self-awareness of genre.

Theodora Papadopoulou (Royal Holloway)

“Stephen Greenblatt's Cardenio”

After over a quarter of a century, Stephen Greenblatt remains perhaps one of the leading, most influential scholars in Shakespeare and Renaissance studies. His breakthrough work Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1981) successfully shifted the interests and perspectives of literary and cultural studies and it is often regarded as the spearhead, ‘the moment of new historicism itself’.

Greenblatt's latest work suggests that he is making a distinct turn towards creative and imaginative forms of writing. As part of a recent project of investigating ‘cultural mobility’, he has collaborated with professional playwright Charles Mee to write a modern ‘adaptation’ of Shakespeare's lost Cardenio –  more precisely, ‘a play inspired by the methods of Shakespeare and based on the Cardenio story in Don Quixote’. Greenblatt and Mee’s play has been adapted and performed, over the last two years, in various countries; their own version is brought to the stage (in Boston and New York) in May 2008.

Several scholars take exception to an academic presuming to write a play. Yet the implications of Greenblatt's critical and imaginative project to bring to life a Shakespeare play – and a ‘lost’ one, at that – carry crucial implications for Shakespeare studies, at a time when the field finds itself at a ‘crossroads’, as Hugh Grady remarks. The enterprise of writing Cardenio enabled Greenblatt, a scholar so long concerned with art and artistic processes, to observe from the ‘inside’ as it were – and even to try out for himself – the experience of creating art. Greenblatt's Cardenio, this paper suggests, stands as a call for Shakespeare studies to be more liberated, less inhibited and regimented; to negotiate a critical form and discourse that is anchored in both the past and present, and that is explicitly committed to the aesthetic experience from which it originates.
Jennifer Rae McDermott (University of Toronto)

“Making-Up Shore’s Wife: Creative Choices behind the Use of Cosmetics in Staging The True Tragedy of Richard III.”

What did it mean to ‘make-up’ a woman in 1594?  The title of my paper puns on the literal and figurative senses of making up character: as constructing a viable stage persona, and as choosing to play the part in cosmetics. In my role as a production researcher for the PLS (Poculi Ludique Societas) and U. Toronto’s Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama’s 2007 performance of the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III, I supplied historical background that influenced the staging decisions made by the “master” actors.

“Making-Up Shore’s Wife” investigates the representation of this female character in the True Tragedy and her embodiment in one scene of this modern production.  In 3.1, this so-called ‘noble strumpet’ reflects upon her own beauty and self-consciously chooses the mirror as a metaphor for her downfall, lamenting: “for now shall Shore's wife be a mirror and a looking glass,/ To all her enemies.” Picking up on this line, Jill Carter, who played Shore’s wife, opted to stage this moment painting her face, an action that complements the dialogue while placing the audience in the unsettling position of the mirror.

My paper argues for the appropriateness of the creative choice to have Shore’s wife appear “made-up,” extending her gaze into an implied mirror as she delivers these lines. I contend, using the play-text alongside period sources (portraits, emblem books, love blazons, and anti-cosmetic tracts) that Shore’s wife typifies the host of negative cultural associations that surround cosmetics and serves as a warning against vanity in all ‘wicked women.’  As a courtesan, ‘queen,’ or ‘whore,’ she is exactly the kind of Elizabethan woman that would have worn make-up.  Most importantly, her mirroring of the audience creates a theatrical nexus: one where the early-modern distrust of painted women and false-faces intersects with the distrust of actors generally and stage dissembling.

Jenni Ramone (Newman University College, Birmingham)

“ 'Downright unsaxogrammatical' - Do postcolonial and subaltern adaptations
contest, or reinforce Shakespeare's canonical status?”

All adaptations must engage with Shakespeare's historical status. Those that hope to reveal a postcolonial or subaltern reading or reinterpretation are concerned with challenging dominant perceptions of valuable literature. But not all of those adaptations, however apparently subversive or transgressive in intention, achieve this aim. An adaptation is an act of translation. And just like the translator who selects a text for translation based on its assumed quality, marketability or desirability, the writer who adapts one of Shakespeare's plays for a postcolonial or subaltern context attributes prestige to the original.

It is the literary form of the adaptation that determines the extent to which it upholds notions of the original play's value and authority. Examining adaptations of Hamlet, The Tempest, Macbeth and Twelfth Night, this paper suggests that adaptations in play script form reinforce the authority of Shakespeare's plays despite explicit attempts to subvert the original, whereas adaptations in film, novel and short story forms challenge the original. The presence of the intrusive narrative voice is the element required to create an adaptation that actively challenges Shakespeare's authority. As the marginalia and stage direction is arguably as close as the play script can get to a narrator's voice, however much the playwright sets up an opportunity for transgression, the
play ultimately becomes an endorsement of the value of the original. In the short story, though, the intrusive narrator plays the role of adaptor or translator, who, like the storyteller of oral narrative, adopts a persona. This intrusive narrator implies that the tale can be adapted according to mood, audience, and context. Similarly, on film the implied narrator guides an audience past and around the characters' spoken words with the use of the other effects that dominate a performance: mise-en-scène, cinematography, and soundtracks. Though aspects of mise-en-scène of course originated on the stage, the film can place an audience at any position in relation to the actors, thus imposing the implied narrator's will on to the narrative and
performing the role of intrusive authorial narrator in visual form.

Ewa Sawicka (Institute of English Studies, Warsaw University)

“Forgetting the horrors. A Jungian reading of Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb”

This paper draws its idea from the event in the lives of Charles and Mary Lamb referred to as the ‘day of horrors’ when in 1796 Mary suffering from a relapse of mental illness stabbed her mother to death with a knife. My point of interest will be how Shakespeare's plays adapted into the language of tales for children become means of moral purification and psychical transformation.

In "Charles Lamb's Art of Autobiography", Gerald Monsman analyses the works of Charles Lamb as an illustration of his subconscious desire to escape from the ‘fatal knowledge of the heart of darkness’ within his own self into the state of childlike innocence that "has not explored the darker corners of existence". My contention is that in his attempt at tale writing, Lamb reaches for Shakespeare, whose plays based on themes derived from fables and myths conveyed a universal archetypal patterns of human behaviour. In my analysis I shall refer to Northrop Frye’s theory of literary archetypes, as well as his interpretation of the rituals of death and revival. According to the critic Shakespeare's plays are set in the the tradition of romance and folklore that reflect the same pattern of the ritual of death and revival, which underlies the structure of the Greek Old Comedy and, as he contends in his article “The Argument of Comedy”, reflects ‘the triumph of life over the wasteland, the death and revival of the year impersonated by figures still human, and once divine as well.’  The XXth century psychoanalysis and especially Jung's psychology of the self, which studies the relation between the human psyche and the language of the folk-tale and myths assumes that the same archetypal solar myth lies at  the base of human psychical transformation.

Veronika Schandl, (Pazmany University)

“ ‘Of nature and of nations speak aloud’: Silviu Purcarete’s Troilus and Cressida in Budapest, 2005”

The stage is divided by a row of washbasins, the borders of the two camps are thus visible from the very first instant of Silviu Purcarete’s Budapest Troilus and Cressida. Still, the viewer must wonder: what divides these Trojans from these Greeks, what does the production wish to tell us about the self-definitions of nations, about the differences of cultures, and about the causes of wars?

Throughout the Cold War Troilus and Cressida was staged in Hungary to ridicule ideas thrust upon nations by outside political forces, the futility of war and especially of the false opposition, which divided the World, as well as the provinciality, our nation was forced into because of this divide. With the War gone, the Wall tumbling down, and Europe uniting the paper wishes to examine what issues the world-famous Romanian director and the first rated Hungarian theatre have to address in this recent production of the play, and find out what relevance the ongoing futile battle of two nations so close and still so apart might have in 2005, in Budapest.

Johanna Schmitz (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)

“Performing memorial: Site-specific Shakespeare performance and the authenticity of resurrection”

How does site-specific performance at memorialized locations such as The Rose archaeological site and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, and Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, affect or enable a peculiar reception of Shakespeare in performance and what is the responsibility of the tourist/visitor to participate in the performance of the site and the play within it?  This paper offers three versions of authenticity made available at commemorated venues, all of which depend on the historical imagination of the audience to enhance both the performative, localised event and the perceived proximity to Shakespeare as memorial commodities.

Catherine Silverstone, (Queen Mary University of London)

“Shakespeare, Trauma and Titus Andronicus”

This paper takes as its starting point the turn to the traumatic that is evident in a range of humanities’ disciplines including English, Film, History, Politics and Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies.  In this paper I seek to deploy key traumatic tropes of repetition, return, unknowability and belatedness as a way of engaging with performances of Shakespeare, while remaining resistant to pathological understandings of trauma in relation to cultural production.  These ideas will be examined via a discussion of Gregory Doran’s production of Titus Andronicus for Johannesburg’s Market Theatre in conjunction with the National’s Studio (1995).  In this production Shakespeare’s text is used as an aide-mémoir for the trauma of racial segregation and violence in post-apartheid South Africa.  This is strikingly confirmed by the method acting exercises employed by many of the actors which work to memorialise, remember and witness violent events and histories.  I suggest that the violence demanded by Shakespeare’s text is strategically deployed to comment on contemporary cultures’ troubled relationships with violence and that the text is employed as a panacea to heal these violent, fractured cultures.

Rebecca Steinberger (Misericordia University)

“ ‘Be bloody, bold, and resolute’: Performing Shakespeare in the Age of Terror”

Undeniably, London remains a space ripe for intrigue.  In the present political and cultural climate, it has become a site riddled with terror.  As a reaction to the recent debates with regard to terrorist plots, increased immigration, and Islamaphobia in the UK and London, in particular, I would like to investigate how contemporary performances of Shakespeare—England’s patriotic posterboy—have responded to this panic.  Specifically, I will consider how current productions of Shakespeare’s plays deal with the spatial underpinnings of a fractured landscape and address the characters who remain restricted to that problematic space.  Whether violence occurs in the private sphere (under the guise of family politics) or the public sphere (which operates under a civic alliance), I wish to assess how the cityscape has a distancing effect on the characters and their causes.

In 2007, the human condition has exploited the violence and terrorism inherent in our own culture.  This paper aims to address how directors today use Shakespeare to speak for their individual political agendas.  By creating a space on the stage, Shakespeare holds the mirror up to nature; ultimately, we are responsible for what happens when the lights go out in the theatre.

Kate Wilkinson

“‘My dream was lengthened after life’: Ghosts in Michael Boyd’s history cycle.”
At the conclusion of Richard III, on the eve of the battle of Bosworth, eleven ghosts appear to Richard in his dream telling him to “Despair and die”.  The ghosts, who are the characters Richard has murdered through the play, then move over to Richmond in his dream and wish him all good things for the battle to come and his life thereafter.  Despite Shakespeare’s use of spectres in tragedies such as Macbeth and Hamlet, these are the only ghosts to textually appear in Shakespeare’s eight English history plays, plays which are steeped in blood and boast high body counts.  In Michael Boyd’s recent eight-play staging of the histories for the Royal Shakespeare Company at least 24 ghosts of specific dead characters returned to haunt the action and the living characters on the stage.  Although these ghosts were commented on by reviewers, they have gone largely unexplored.  In this paper, however, I will offer a reading of Michael Boyd's use of ghosts in his cycle arguing that Boyd not only uses ghosts to unify the cycle but also to create a providential history.