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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.49, No.4, 823 ~ 844, 2003
Articles : Hollywood Conspiracy about Shakespeare
Hyon U Lee
The Hollywood Shakespeare boom has been lasting since 1990s. By the way, Hollywood Shakespeare films themselves do not show us enough proper evidence to prove the commercial or industrial logic causing this storming boom of Shakespeare. Even Shakespeare in Love, the most successful one in box office records, is ranked 222 among the top grossing movies of all time at the U.S. box office. This film`s box office rank is far below There`s Something About Mary (51), Three Men and a Baby (59), Sister Act (99), You`ve Got Mail (158), and Driving Miss Daisy (186), which are comparatively small works. Additionally, most box office records of Hollywood Shakespeare films except Romeo+juliet and Rome Must Die, are just 1%-20% of Shakespeare in Love. If so, why is Hollywood so obsessed with making Shakespeare movies? Hollywood Shakespeare films remind me of the classic fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and The Little Mermaid. Many people, probably most children in the world would unconsciously recall Walt Disney`s animation characters and the adapted stories if they were asked about those fairy tales. And this very unconsciousness should be the greatest property of Walt Disney. This paper aims to analyze the realities and strategies of Hollywood`s collective Americanization and Hollywoodization of Shakespeare from the 1990s to the present, centering on William Shakespeare`s Romeo+juliet, Shakespeare in Love, and Romeo Must Die. These three Romeo and Juliet adaptation films, which were released at intervals of two years and are ranked as the big three of Hollywood Shakespeare box office, reveal the qualities or strategies of Hollywood Shakespeare films in more evident ways than the others, and provide some meaningful clues to tell each evolutionary stage of Hollywood`s strategies about Shakespeare or of the Hollywood Shakespeare boom. As a result, this paper deduces the expected effects of the Hollywood Shakespeare boom in the name of "Hollywood Conspiracy about Shakespeare."
Key Words
Shakespeare, Hollywood, conspiracy, Americanization, Globalization,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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