Postmodern Pop Culture

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Postmodern societies love to obsess over pop-culture references. We thrive on nostalgia, constantly looking at pictures of childhood memories, rewatching old saturday morning cartoons on streaming sites, and constantly rebooting old tv shows and movies for modern audiences. This resurgence of nostalgia most prominently rears its head in the movie industry. The “superhero” genre exploded in popularity recently, adapting comic book characters for the big screen in attempts to please old comic book fans. In fact 20th Century Fox’s most popular X-men, Deadpool, makes pop-culture references all throughout his record-shattering film of the same name. Shakespeare is no exception to Hollywood’s obsession with reboots. Directors constantly take Shakespeare’s …show more content…

No one in our modern society speaks the way they did in Elizabethan times, so modern audiences watching play productions of Shakespeare’s work will most likely not comprehend or enjoy the actual play because the language acts as a barrier. But the many aspects of film can help break down that barrier. With the help of cinematography and special effects, directors like Baz Luhrmann can provide modern audiences with an easy and in-depth understanding of the play that they may not have cared about learning in high school. Additionally, appropriations can help introduce modern audiences to Shakespeare’s original plays. Some audiences may enjoy movies like Warm Bodies and feel inclined to read Romeo and Juliet after. Although technically these audience members may not have a scholarly interest in Shakespeare’s works, the continual revival of Shakespeare’s tropes keep him relevant amongst populations other than just scholars. In fact some scholars believe that these constant reproductions of Shakespeare are necessary for keeping his name alive. Film and English professor at the University of Southampton, Shelly Cobb, believes that “Shakespeare and other classical authors are ‘literary ghosts [who] need spokespersons to articulate and perform their lost secrets’”(Cobb). Every modern film and piece of artwork that adapts and appropriates Shakespeare reinvigorates audiences to continually interpret the meaning of Shakespeare’s works. Sure, many appropriations like Warm Bodies and Disney’s The Lion King, significantly dumb down Shakespeare, but they keep modern audiences interested. And films like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, offer those that disliked reading the play, a separate medium to enjoy Shakespeare’s masterpieces. With every new interpretation of an artist’s work, we keep that

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