Intertextual Relationships in Literary Genres

  •  Ayman F. Khafaga    


Most contemporary playwrights acknowledge that Shakespeare’s dramas are for use as raw material to be assimilated into contemporary mould, not to be revered strictly as untouchable museum pieces. Being the model of all dramatists, Shakespeare had a great influence on English theatre, his plays are still performed throughout the world, and all kinds of new, experimental work find inspiration in them. This paper investigates the intertextual relationships between William Shakespeare’s King Lear (1606) and Edward Bond’s Lear (1978). The main objective of the paper is to explore the extent to which Bond manages to use Shakespeare’s King Lear as an intertext to convey his contemporary version of Shakespearean classic. Two research questions are tackled here: first, how does Shakespeare’s King Lear function as a point of departure for Bond’s contemporary version? Second, to what extent does Bond deviate from Shakespeare to prove his originality in Lear? The paper reveals that Bond’s manipulation of intertextuality does not mean that he puts his originality aside. He proves his originality by relating the events of the old story to contemporary issues which in turn makes the story keep pace with modern time.

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