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BBC's Shakespeare Retold: Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Brian Percival

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Transformations are altering certain thematic concerns of the original text, yet still retaining much of the storyline. The process of transformation requires some conscious decisions which shape and re-shape the meaning, and must be justified in order to execute them. . This is explored in ‘BBC’s Shakespeare Re-told: Much ado about Nothing”, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s original playwright “Much ado about Nothing”
Transformations inherently contain traces of the author’s social and cultural context. Much of the same can be applied to “Much ado about nothing”. It incorporates comical features, yet retains the sense of tragedy which is attached to almost all of Shakespeare’s plays. Brain Percival’s role as a director, was determining, understanding and distinguishing the social norms and the social structure of the society, and how the themes represented in the play can be transformed into a modern text. The Elizabethan society was typically a patriarchal society. Percival has used as well as transformed certain themes and textual features to ensure, that the film is more appealing and assessable to the critical modern audience.
A major concern in both the film and the original text is the ‘status of women’. This is represented through the differing roles of women and their denigration within the Elizabethan society. For instance, Hero is accused of committing infidelity; consequently her image in society is tarnished, In addition to this, Claudio insults Hero publicly without even considering confirming the accusation of her being unchaste. This is illustrated through Claudio slandering Hero through the use of usage of Greek Mythological allusions “You seem to as Dian in her orb, but you are more intemperate than Venus in y...


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...o the social norms, misogynist ideas and many other aspects of the Elizabethan society. It has also been altered to cater for the modern audience. If the setting is more realistic, then the audience would be able to relate to the events which occur in the film in greater depth. As the castle is not as realistic as the studio, it has been transformed into a studio as using the castle can ultimately weaken the film’s appeal to the modern audience.
In précis, through comparing and contrasting the inclusion of certain themes and textual features, and their transformations, the main motifs behind these alterations are clearly established. These transformations are influenced by the author’s social and cultural context, as well as their present defined social order, which is extensively reflected in BBC’s adaptation of the Shakespearean play, “Much Ado about Nothing”.



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