Shakespeare and the Modern Dramatist by Michael Scott
Theatre has never been afraid to adapt, rewrite and contemporize Shakespeare's drama since theatre by definition is a living medium involving a corporate creativity. Shakespeare himself rewrote or adapted old plays and stories and since writing his dramas have experienced many transformations. Recent dramatists following this age-old tradition have rewritten some of Shakespeare's plays for the contemporary stage or modelled their drama on formulations used by him. Michael Scott examines a selection of such plays written in the last forty years. Some, such as Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot or Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead have become famed. Others such as Ionesco's Macbett are less well known but are no less signficant. Edward Bond's Lear, Arnold Wesker's The Merchant and Charles Marowitz's Collages represent an attempt by some modern dramatists to challenge a particular ideology which appears to have appropriated Shakespeare to itself. The book concludes with an examination of some recent trends in Shakespearean production, particularly by the Royal Shakespeare Company.