Monday, April 4, 2011


My current thesis and conclusion are:

Shakespeare is still popular in popular culture, the kind of culture that is of the people and for the people, but he belongs not just to the popular or just to the high-brow but he can be found comfortably fitting in throughout our culture as a cultural reference point and an inspiration for new art and literature and this can be best seen in his best-known play, Hamlet.

Is this a good or a bad thing? "Does familiarity breed contempt?" (which is a question asked and discussed in “Introduction: whither Shakespop? Taking stock of Shakespeare in popular culture” which I intend to talk more about soon) Perhaps, but most of the people who despise it now, would still, I think, not appreciate it without all of the cultural strings attached, without the “decontextualized appropriations solely for commercial gain”(another quote from Wither Shakespop) and without all the parodies. I don’t necessarily think that everything that’s attached itself to Shakespeare is good, or anything of the sort, but I do think that new interpretations and spins inspired from and working off of Shakespeare’s work themselves benefit from using Shakespeare as a source and that they can also benefit a study of Shakespeare’s works by breathing new life into the old texts.