The Shakespearean lens: A filmic pedagogy of Shakespeare
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The use of Shakespeare on film as a resource in secondary school Shakespeare courses has become so prevalent that, as Susan Leach puts it, "'seeing the video" has become equated with "doing" the book'. Despite its great use-value as a conveniently accessible form of Shakespeare in performance, it is my contention that the Shakespearean film, whether it be a 'classical' adaptation like those of Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh or an appropriation of the Shakespearean text like Al Pacino's Looking for Richard or the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love, offers much more to students and teachers of Shakespeare than its ability to allow students to see and hear the play in its 'true' form as a performance. This thesis begins with an examination of the pedagogical and curricular contexts in which Shakespeare has been and continues to be deployed in New Zealand. The following chapters explore the potential for using Shakespeare on film in the service of various educational agendas: the New Zealand secondary-level English curriculum, as outlined in English in the New Zealand Curriculum, particularly its emphasis on response to text and reading visual language; the long tradition of the study of the works of Shakespeare in this country and throughout the world; and the diverse and ever-expanding fields of literary and critical theory and cultural studies.