Beneath aesthetics : textual and ideological manipulation in Orson Welles' adaptations of Shakespeare
Shepley, Scot A.
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Beneath Aesthetics: Textual and Ideological Manipulation in Orson Welles' Adaptations o f Shakespeare demonstrates an alternative method of studying the Shakespearean productions of the famed American stage and film director Orson Welles. A variety of critical reactions to the productions is examined in the attempt to show that the vast majority of scholars regard Welles as a formalist more concerned with aesthetics than content. This study demonstrates that a vital aspect of Welles' work has been overlooked in favor of the formative elements. Instead of analyzing his productions in terms o f their aesthetic and formalist nature, as is most common, this study analyzes the productions in terms o f their textual and ideological implications. The study contains eight chapters. In addition to an introduction and conclusion, the remaining six chapters each survey one Shakespearean production directed by Welles. The first three chapters discuss three stage productions: the "Voodoo" Macbeth, the Mercury Theater's Julius Caesar, and the Theatre Guild's Five Kings. The next three chapters discuss Welles' three film adaptations of Shakespeare: Macbeth, Othello, and Chimes at Midnight (also known by the title Falstaff).