To tell the history of Shakespeare on screen would take up many volumes, and rather than beginning with the first screen version of a Shakespeare play and concluding with the last, this chapter will concentrate on a relatively short period, in order to chart the rise in Shakespeare on screen not only in terms of sheer output of television and film adaptations, but also in terms of the increasing respectability of Shakespeare on screen within the academic establishment. Films of Shakespeare are, undoubtedly, influenced by critical fashions, and this obviously contributes to their acceptance within academic circles. This chapter will conclude by examining how different attitudes towards gender are reflected on screen through a survey of screen representations of Ophelia.
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