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Through a detailed analysis of two recent adaptations of A Midsummer Night's Dream - Ed Fraiman's and Peter Bowker's and Midsummer Night's Dream, produced in 2005 as part of the BBC's Shakespeare ReTold series, and Christine Edzard's The Children's Midsummer Night's Dream (2001) - this article considers the ways in which an adaptation of a Shakespeare play often employs strategies that simultaneously recover and resist Shakespeare's version, presenting itself, on the one hand, as an adaptation of an original Shakespearean work and, on the other, as an original work daring to use Shakespeare's play as source. The essay's line of inquiry pays particular attention to how each of these adaptions or appropriations present A Midsummer Night's Dream as both Shakespeare's and 'not Shakespeare's text': namely, how the first re-envisions the play in a landscape of postmodern mock Bardolatry - the Shakespearean tourist attraction 'Dream Park' - while The Children's Midsummer Night's Dream wrestles the play away from Shakespearean authorities, perhaps even from Shakespeare himself, re-situating the work within the young and fertile imaginations of eight- to twelve-year-old children. Ultimately, the article seeks to demonstrate how, in spite of the thievery of which both adaptations may be accused, each of them comes finally to celebrate Shakespeare's play as well as the innumerable collaborative texts that it has animated and inspired.
Shakespeare,Adaptation,Appropriation,A Midsummer Night's Dream,The Children's Midsummer Night's Dream,Cinema,BBC,Shakespeare ReTold,Christine Edzard,Authority