The Adaptation and Appropriation of Shakespeare’s ‘Star-Cross’d Lovers’ in 21st Century Popular Culture

    Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


    Since the start of the 21st century, modern popular culture has become fascinated by Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers and has heralded the pair as both quintessentially doomed and as the perfect example of true love. Perhaps then it is unsurprising that they continue to inspire numerous appropriations and adaptations of Shakespeare‘s original play; these are dominated, however, by texts that are far less literary than academia likes to admit. Internet crowd-sourcing, the 'most vilified' romance novel, and graphic novels are just a few of the new and inspired ways in which today's culture engages with Romeo and Juliet and which, it can be argued, engage with the play far more successfully than current academic criticism. This thesis engages with Gerard Genette's theories of hypertextuality through four main subcategories (transmodalization, imitation, transplantation, and what I refer to as the cybertextual), in an attempt to analyse the ways in which popular culture has been affected by the phenomenon of rewriting Shakespeare. Though each type of the hypertext interacts with the hypotext in a different way, it is possible to plot the development and changing attitudes towards adaptation and appropriation since the end of the last millennium through their contrasting rewritings of Shakespeare‘s play.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Royal Holloway University of London
    Award date20 Oct 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Shakespeare
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • Adaptation Theory
    • Appropriation Theory
    • Hypertext
    • Hypotext
    • Gerard Genette
    • Popular Culture
    • Rewriting
    • Afterlifes


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