758, Paper #1
Your first paper should develop
a thesis about how a film or films offer(s) an interpretation of Shakespeare's
script. You should offer an account of how the film or films interpret
the Shakespeare play at hand, and you should certainly offer descriptions
of specific details that support the interpretive pattern you see.
You should particularly avoid writing a review: focus on describing
some pattern of interpretation at work in your film(s) that is not immediately
obvious to a casual viewer, and not on evaluating the film(s). I
will expect you to use many, if not all, of the skills you've been practicing
with the first four written exercises in this class.
One caution: this paper
is only 6-7 pages long (do not exceed the page limit). You
should probably identify something quite specific to focus on, so that
you can be relatively thorough in explicating it. You might focus,
for example, on:
You should identify your specific
focus and your thesis claim in your opening paragraph. UNDERLINE
YOUR THESIS STATEMENT IN THE FINAL DRAFT. Your thesis should
not be something like "there are many similarities and differences between
Shakespeare's script of Othello and Parker's film version."
That is obvious to any casual viewer. Rather, you should make an
interpretive claim about those similarities and differences: "Parker's
through Branagh's portrayal of Iago, stresses that Iago's jealous love
for Othello is his primary motivation."
how two filmmakers address a single
significant Shakespearean passage (the strangling of Desdemona) or character
a single important visual image
(water in Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet);
a significant element of film style
(skewed angles in Welles's Othello);
a particular way in which the film
builds upon, revises, or changes a specific feature of Shakespeare's script;
or on some other significant element.