Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 152. Thursday, 25 June 1992.
Date: Thursday, June 25, 1992
Subject: New on the SHAKSPER Fileserver: Essay on Adapting Sh to TV
Today, I placed an essay of mine on strategies for adapting Shakespeare
to television on the SHAKSPER Fileserver. "Two *Lear*s for Television:
An Exploration of Televisual Strategies" originally appeared in *Literature/
Film Quarterly*; I'm making it available on the Fileserver as an electronic
offprint. (TWOLEARS FOR_TV)
SHAKSPEReans can retrieve this file from the SHAKSPER Fileserver by issuing
the interactive command, "TELL LISTSERV AT UTORONTO GET TWOLEARS FOR _TV
SHAKSPER." If your network link does not support the interactive "TELL"
command (i.e. if you are not directly on Bitnet), or if Listserv rejects
your request, then send a one-line mail message (without a subject line) to
I'm also pleased to announce that Luc Borot and the people at the Centre
d'Estudes et de Recherches Elisabethaines will be providing play reviews
from *Cahiers Elisabethains* for distribution via the SHAKSPER Fileserver.
I would like to thank Luc for this generous offer. This kind of cooperative
effort is something that I would like to encourage as one of many creative
uses for the Fileserver.
Below is the first paragraph of "Two *Lear*s."
TWO *LEAR*S FOR TELEVISION: AN EXPLORATION OF TELEVISUAL STRATEGIES
The fifth season of *The Shakespeare Plays* opened in America on October
18, 1982, with the last play that Jonathan Miller directed for the series.
The result is a provocative version of *King Lear* that marked the third time
that Miller had cast Michael Hordern in the role of the foolish, old king.
Fifteen months later, on January 26, 1984, Americans finally got to see the
much heralded *Laurence Olivier's KING LEAR*. This version, taped earlier in
England for Granada Television, was directed by Michael Elliott and produced
by David Plowright. These two productions of the play differ radically, each
with instructive strengths and weaknesses. Having these two recent
productions of the same play to compare and contrast provides us with a
valuable opportunity to examine some of the choices that the directors of
each production made in "translating" *King Lear* to television.
Cook, Hardy M. "Two *Lear*s for Television: An Exploration of Televisual
Strategies." *Literature/Film Quarterly* 14 (1986): 179-186.
Reprinted in *Shakespeare and Television: An Anthology of Essays
and Reviews*. Eds. James C. Bulman and H. R. Coursen. Hanover, NH:
UP of New England, 1988. 122-129.