ELLB4: Text Transformation This coursework unit requires students to choose two literary works from the selection of prescribed authors in this powerpoint and transform them into different genres. This powerpoint will take you through the prescribed authors that you can choose from. Remember that you have to choose two texts and that these must be from different genres. DRAMA WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (16th-17th century) After studying two Shakespeare plays already, you are all aware of the style of Shakespeare and some of his plays. Here are three Shakespeare plays that you could potentially choose for your transformation: HAMLET Hamlet is a tragedy set in the Kingdom of Denmark. The play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet is instructed to enact on his uncle Claudius. Claudius had murdered his own brother, Hamlet's father King Hamlet and then taken the throne, marrying his deceased brother's widow, Hamlet's mother Gertrude. Key Themes: The mystery of death, religion, the nation as a diseased body, incest and misogyny. KING LEAR The titular character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological preRoman Celtic king. It has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, and the role of Lear has been coveted and played by many of the world's most accomplished actors. Key Themes: Justice, Authority versus Chaos, Madness and Betrayal. The Tempest It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand. Key Themes: Racism, Colonialism, Masters and Servants, Water and Drowning Ben Jonson (14th-15th Key Works Century) Volpone The Alchemist A Tale of a Tub Epocine Style: • Artistic form and control • Highly polished use of language • Use of realism • Seen as ‘strongly masculinelacking sentiment’ VOLPONE: This play contains Jonson's harshest and most unremitting criticism of human vice. All the principal figures are named (in Italian) after animals suggestive of their characters: for example, Volpone, the cunning fox, and Voltore, the ravenous vulture. The main action turns on Volpone's clever scheme to cheat those who are as greedy as he but not nearly so clever. With the help of his servant Mosca, he pretends to be deathly ill; each of the dupes, encouraged to believe that he may be designated heir to Volpone's fortune, tries to win his favor by presenting him with gifts. Volpone is too clever for his own good, however, and is finally betrayed by Mosca and exposed to the magistrates of Venice. The punishment imposed on him (and on the self-seeking dupes as well) is unusually severe for a comedy; in fact, there is almost nothing in Volpone which provokes laughter. EPOCINE: The satire of Jonson's next three comedies is more indulgent. Epicoene, or the Silent Woman (1609) is an elaborate intrigue built around a farcical character with an insane hatred of noise. The principal intriguer, Sir Dauphine Eugenie, tricks his noise-hating uncle Morose into marrying a woman Morose believes to be docile and quiet. She, however, turns out to be an extremely talkative person with a horde of equally talkative friends. After tormenting his uncle and in effect forcing him into a public declaration of his folly, Sir Dauphine reveals that Morose's voluble wife is actually a boy disguised as a woman. Aphra Behn Key Works (17th Century) The Roundheads (1681) The City Heiress(1682)) The Dutch Lover (1673) Abdelazer (1676) The Rover (1677) Based on Thomas Killigrew's play Thomaso, or The Wanderer (1664), The Rover features multiple plot lines, dealing with the amorous adventures of a group of Englishmen in Naples at Carnival time. The "rover" of the play's title is Willmore, a rakish naval captain, who falls in love with a young woman named Hellena, who has set out to experience love before her brother sends her to a convent. Complications arise when Angellica Bianca, a famous courtesan, falls in love with Willmore and swears revenge on him for his betrayal. Meanwhile, Hellena's sister Florinda attempts to marry her true love, Colonel Belvile, rather than the man her brother has selected. The third major plot of the play deals with the provincial Blunt, who becomes convinced that a girl has fallen in love with him but is humiliated when she turns out to be a prostitute and a thief. Extract from Prologue from The Rover (Part 2) In vain we labour to reform the Stage, Poets have caught too the Disease o' th' Age, That Pest, of not being quiet when they're well, That restless Fever, in the Brethren, Zeal; In publick Spirits call'd, Good o'th' Commonweal. Some for this Faction cry, others for that, The pious Mobile for they know not what: So tho by different ways the Fever seize, In all 'tis one and the same mad Disease. Our Author tool as all new Zealots do, Full of Conceit and Contradiction too, 'Cause the first Project took, is now so vain… Henrik Ibsen Key Works (18th-20th Century) A Doll’s House Hedda Gabbler Ghosts Style: • Concerned with society’s moral values • Introspective • Concerned with psychological conflict • Realist HEDDA GABLER: Hedda is an intelligent and ambitious woman, trapped in the stifling environment of a bourgeois 19th-century marriage. When writer Eilert Loevborg, an old flame returns to Hedda's life with a masterpiece that might threaten her husband's career, Hedda decides to take drastic and fatal action. Universally condemned in 1890 when it was written, Hedda Gabler has since become one of Ibsen's most frequently performed plays. Its title role is elusive and complex: Hedda is an intelligent and ambitious woman, who has no means of finding personal fulfilment in the stifling world of late nineteenth-century bourgeois society. Too frightened of scandal to become involved with a brilliant, wayward writer, she opts for a conventional but loveless marriage in the hope of finding surrogate satisfaction through her husband's career. Blending comedy and tragedy disconcertingly together, Ibsen probes the thwarted aspirations and hidden anxieties of his characters against a background of contemporary social conditions and attitudes. A DOLL’S HOUSE: The play is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th century marriage norms. It aroused great controversy at the time, as it concludes with the protagonist, Nora, leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. Ibsen was inspired by the belief that "a woman cannot be herself in modern society," since it is "an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint Tennessee Williams Key Works (18th-20th Century) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Streetcar Named Desire The Glass Menagerie Style: • Imagery in stage directions • Use of figurative language • Visual and sound effects • Uses classic character archetypes and transforms them: demure Southern belle, the chivalrous gentleman, or the righteous Christian preacher. THE GLASS MENAGERIE: The characters and story mimic Williams's own life more closely than any of his other works. Williams (whose real name was Thomas) would be Tom, his mother, Amanda. His sickly and mentally unstable older sister Rose provides the basis for the fragile Laura (whose nickname in the play is "Blue Roses", a result of a bout of pleurosis as a high school student), though it has also been suggested that Laura may incorporate aspects of Williams himself, referencing his introverted nature and obsessive focus on a part of life (writing for Williams and glass animals in Laura's case). The play is introduced to the audience by Tom, the narrator and protagonist, as a memory play based on his recollection of his mother Amanda and his sister Laura. A Streetcar Named Desire is the tale of a catastrophic confrontation between fantasy and reality, embodied in the characters of Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski. Fading southern belle Blanche DuBois is adrift in the modern world. When she arrives to stay with her sister Stella in a crowded, boisterous corner of New Orleans, her delusions of grandeur bring her into conflict with Stella's crude, brutish husband Stanley Kowalski. Eventually their violent collision course causes Blanche's fragile sense of identity to crumble, threatening to destroy her sanity and her one chance of happiness. Alan Bennett Key Works (20th-21st) The Madness of George III 1991 Talking Heads 1992 The History Boys 2004 People 2012 Style: • Conversational • Use of dramatic monologues • Realistic • Idiomatic expressions • Use of dialect to influence his language • Humour and irony TALKING HEADS: Talking Heads is a series of dramatic monologues written for BBC television by British playwright Alan Bennett. There are two series of Talking Heads, six monologues in each, along with an earlier (1982) play, A Woman of No Importance, which, while not released alongside Talking Heads, generally fits into the canon. Although the plays deal with a variety of subjects, there are certain recurring themes, such as death, illness, guilt and isolation. Most of the plays give some hint as to where they are set, mostly in Leeds, although not (as Bennett stresses) the "real" Leeds, but rather one that exists in his head.For example, Matthias Robinsons, in which Miss Fozzard works, closed in the 1970s. THE HISTORY BOYS: The play opens in Cutlers' Grammar School, Sheffield, a fictional boys' grammar school in the north of England. Set in the early 1980s, the play follows a group of history pupils preparing for the Oxford and Cambridge entrance examinations under the guidance of three teachers (Hector, Irwin and Lintott) with contrasting styles. Hector, an eccentric teacher, delights in knowledge for its own sake, but the headmaster ambitiously wants the school to move up the academic league table; Irwin, a supply teacher, is hired to introduce a rather more cynical and ruthless style of teaching. Hector is discovered sexually fondling a boy and later Irwin's latent homosexual inclinations emerge. The character of Hector was based on the schoolmaster and author Frank McEachran (1900–1975). Caryl Churchill Key Works (20th-21st) Serious Money Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza Style: • Non-naturalistic techniques • Loyalty to feminist themes and ideas • Concerned with the abuse of power • Exploration of sexual politics • Can be satirical SERIOUS MONEY: The plot follows Scilla and Jake who are enjoying the pleasures and the comforts of the upper class. But the story climaxes when Jake Todd turns up murdered during the first few scenes due to his underground trading. Scilla takes it upon herself to find her brother's killer and the money he was dealing. She later finds out that he was being investigated by the Department of Trade and Industry. Though she does not find the killer, she finds the American business woman Marylou Banes with whom Jake was dealing. Marylou Banes offers her a fresh start. The story takes place around the stock market troubles in Britain. Aside from that a second story follows Billy Corman's and Zac Zackerman's attempt to take over the Albion company from Duckett. In between this takeover Corman attempts to get Jacinta Condor and Nigel Ajibala [who are the foreigners with an interest in his takeover] to buy shares in his company. They support Corman but decide to give their bid to Duckett in the end. The plot ends with Greville Todd in jail, Corman appointed as a Lord, and Scilla happily working for Marylou Banes. Seven Jewish Children consists of seven scenes spread over roughly seventy years, in which Jewish adults discuss what, or whether, their children should be told about certain events in recent Jewish history that the play alludes to only indirectly : The Holocaust, Jewish immigration to Palestine, the creation of Israel, the flight or expulsion of Palestinian Arabs, the 194 Arab-Israeli War, the dispute over water, the First Intifada, the death of Rachel Corrie, the building of the West Bank barrier, the death of Muhammad al-Durrah, Palestinian suicide attacks, Hamas rocket attacks, and the 2008 bombing of Gaza. David Mamet Key Works (20th-21st) Glengarry Glen Ross Speed-the-Plow Sexual Perversity in Chicago Style: • Mamet's style of writing dialogue, marked by a cynical, street-smart edge, precisely crafted for effect, is so distinctive that it has come to be called ‘Mamet speak’ • Italics and quotation marks to emphasize language • Interruption and dialogue overlaps Glengarry Glen Ross is a play by David Mamet that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts—from lies and flattery to bribery, threats, intimidation and burglary—to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting prospective buyers. It is based on Mamet's earlier workings in a similar office. Sexual Perversity in Chicago is a play written by David Mamet that examines the sex lives of two men and two women in the 1970s. The play is filled with profanity and regional jargon that reflects the working-class language of Chicago. The characters' relationships become hindered by the caustic nature of their words, as much of the dialogue includes insults and arguments. The play presents "intimate relationships [as] minefields of buried fears and misunderstandings". Harold Pinter Key Works (20th-21st) The Caretaker No Man’s Land The Dumb Waiter Voices Style: • Comedy of menace • Mainly about domination and submission • Colloquial language • Use of long pauses • Concerned with the implications of threat and strong feeling THE DUMB WAITER: Two hit-men, Ben and Gus, are waiting in a basement room for their assignment. As the play begins, Ben, the senior member of the team, is reading a newspaper, and Gus, the junior member, is tying his shoes. Gus asks Ben many questions as he gets ready for their job and tries to make tea. They argue over the semantics of "light the kettle" and "put on the kettle". Ben continues reading his paper for most of the time, occasionally reading excerpts of it to Gus. Ben gets increasingly animated, and Gus's questions become more pointed, at times nearly nonsensical. In the back of the room is a dumb waiter, which delivers occasional food orders. This is mysterious and both characters seem to be puzzled why these orders keep coming. At one point they send up some snack food that Gus had brought along. Ben has to explain to the people above via the dumbwaiter's "speaking tube" that there is no food. This whole sequence is rather odd because the basement is clearly not outfitted for fulfillment of the orders. Gus leaves the room to get a drink of water in the bathroom, and the dumbwaiter's speaking tube whistles (a sign that there is a person on the other end who wishes to communicate). Ben listens carefully—we gather from his replies that their victim has arrived and is on his way to the room. Ben shouts for Gus, who is still out of the room. The door that the target is supposed to enter from flies open, Ben rounds on it with his gun, and Gus enters, stripped of his jacket, waistcoat, tie and gun. There is a long silence as the two stare at each other before the curtain comes down (the implication is that Gus is the person that Ben has been employed to kill). Brian Friel Key Works (20th-21st) Translations Dancing at Lughnasa Philadephia, Here I come! Style: • Can be political • Interested in language divide • Concerned with ‘Irish male experience’ Dancing at Lughnasa is a 1990 play by dramatist Brian Friel set in Ireland's County Donegal in August 1936 in the fictional town of Ballybeg. It is a Memory play told from the point of view of the adult Michael Evans, the narrator. He recounts the summer in his aunts' cottage when he was seven years old. This play is loosely based on the lives of Friel's mother and aunts who lived in Glenties, on the west coast of Donegal. Set in the summer of 1936, the play depicts the late summer days when love briefly seems possible for three of the Mundy sisters (Chris, Rose, and Kate) and the family welcomes home the frail elder brother, who has returned from a life as a missionary in Africa. However, as the summer ends, the family foresees the sadness and economic privations under which they will suffer as all hopes fade. The play takes place in early August, around the festival of Lughnasadh, the Celtic harvest festival. The play describes a bitter harvest for the Mundy sisters, a time of reaping what has been sown. Translations is a three-act play by Irish playwright Brian Friel, written in 1980. It is set in Baile Beag (Ballybeg), a Donegal village in 19th century agricultural Ireland. Friel has said that Translations is "a play about language and only about language", but it deals with a wide range of issues, stretching from language and communication to Irish history and cultural imperialism. Friel responds strongly to both political and language questions in modern-day Northern Ireland. He said that his play "should have been written in Irish" but, despite this fact, he crafted carefully the verbal action in English which makes the dynamics of the play come alive, and brings its political questions into true focus. Baile Beag ("Small Town") is a fictional village, created by Friel as a setting for several of his plays, although there are many real places called Ballybeg throughout Ireland. Alan Ayckbourn Key Works (20th-21st) A Small Family Business Bedroom Farce Intimate Exchanges Style: • Has written unconventional plays (such as ones with multiple endings) • In his early career, Ayckbourn had a recurring theme of marriage. • Uses staging techniques to transcend space and time. A Small Family Business: Jack McCracken: a man of principle in a corrupt world. But not for long. Moments after taking over his father-in-law's business he's approached by a private detective armed with some compromising information. Jack's integrity fades away as he discovers his extended family to be thieves and adulterers, looting the business from their suburban homes. Rampant self-interest takes over and comic hysteria builds to a macabre climax. The play is a riotous exposure of entrepreneurial greed. Bedroom Farce is a comedy that contains a melee of events involving certain philandering characters, all occurring within similar moments of one another. Alan Ayckbourn’s clever uses of time and space makes this a very intricate and sophisticated comedy while also portraying the deteriorating and rebuilding of relationships among young couples. This play explores the differences in relationships between the younger and older generations while capitalizing on certain unlikely issues that may strain the relationships even further. Although Ayckbourn uses hints of homosexuality in this play, this doesn't seem to have a huge part in his play as a whole, but can be interpreted to have a stronger deeper meaning within the play. As the title implies, the play is an absurd and confusing farce, comparing and contrasting the differences between couples young and old, and the different troubles they encounter. This play had certain sadistic aspects involving cheating, and lying, which evolves into forgiveness and devotion. Although the play may seem to lead into a corner of despair and heartbreak, it substitutes the hard truths of certain relationships into relationships that may have a chance at survival. Tom Stoppard Key Works (20th-21st) • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead • Arcadia Style: • Work is usually socially engaged especially with regard to politics • Wit and comedy • Usually about philosophical concepts • Use of juxtaposition • Later plays concern the themes of Repression and State Censorship Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is an absurdist, existentialist tragicomedy first staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1966. The play expands upon the exploits of two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, the courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The action of Stoppard's play takes place mainly "in the wings" of Shakespeare's, with brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet who enact fragments of the original's scenes. Between these episodes the two protagonists voice their confusion at the progress of events of which—occurring onstage without them in Hamlet—they have no direct knowledge. Arcadia is set in Sidley Park, an English country house, and takes place in both 1809– 1812 and the present day (1993 in the original production). The activities of two modern scholars and the house's current residents are juxtaposed with the lives of those who lived there 180 years earlier. In 1809, Thomasina Coverly, the daughter of the house, is a precocious teenager with ideas about mathematics well ahead of her time. She studies with her tutor Septimus Hodge, a friend of Lord Byron (who is himself an unseen guest in the house). In the present, a writer and an academic converge on the house: Hannah Jarvis, the writer, is investigating a hermit who once lived on the grounds; Bernard Nightingale, a professor of literature, is investigating a mysterious chapter in the life of Byron. As their investigations unfold with the help of Valentine Coverly, a post-graduate student in mathematical biology, the truth about what happened in Thomasina's lifetime is gradually revealed. The play's set features a large table, which is used by the characters in both past and present. Props are not removed when the play switches time period, so that books, coffee mugs, quill pens, portfolios, and laptop computers appear alongside each other in a blurring of past and present. An ancient but still living tortoise also appears in every scene, symbolising long-suffering endurance and continuity of existence.