Shakespeare

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Fandom
Name: Shakespeare
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: William Shakespeare
Date(s): 1590s-1613
Medium: plays
Country of Origin: England
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Shakespeare is a medium-sized rarelit fandom based on the plays of the English playwright, William Shakespeare. As his works are not covered by copyright, there are also numerous derivative works in traditionally published media -- the novel Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike, the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard and the rom com Shakespeare in Love to name just three. Fanfiction is the most common fannish activity. Online fanfiction dates back to at least 2000. As with many rarelit fandoms, the annual Yuletide exchange has significantly boosted the fandom's profile since 2003. Other fannish activities include icon creation, and more rarely fanart and vidding.

Fanfiction

There is a little fanfiction for almost all the plays, but the most popular sources are Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. Other common source texts include Julius Caesar, Macbeth and Othello among the tragedies and The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night among the comedies. There is also considerable fannish interest in the history plays, such as Henry V. The historical fanworks overlap with historical RPF, although Shakespeare's version rarely follows historical sources. Some fanworks derive from a particular production or adaptation, for example the Franco Zeffirelli film of Romeo and Juliet (1968), the Kenneth Branagh film of Henry V (1989), the Trevor Nunn film of Twelfth Night (1996), the Hungarian musical Rómeó és Júlia (2000s), and the Joss Whedon film of Much Ado About Nothing (2012). Several pro derivative works have their own microfandoms, notably Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

Fanfiction often foregrounds slash and (more rarely) femslash pairings, commonly Hamlet/Horatio, Romeo/Mercutio & Viola/Olivia, and plays with the gender ambiguities inherent in the crossdressing comedies. Het often involves canonical pairings such as Romeo/Juliet. Works cover a huge spectrum, with lengths varying from drabbles and vignettes to complete plays and novels. There is also considerable variation in style. Some authors write plays in iambic pentameter; for example, Ellen Fremedon's Yule Morning, or, Malvolio's Revenge. Others prefer to use a more or less modern prose style; Nifra Idril's Waste Our Lights In Vain has echoes of Shakespearean English, while Shayheyred's The Pirate and the Puritan goes for a hardboiled feel. Some authors take this further and set the story in the present day. Gehayi's With A Cunning Hand makes Orsino a mafia boss, while CJ Marlowe has Ophelia sipping lattes in Before the End of All Things. Gileonnen's Fine Revolution goes still further and has Horatio constructing cyborgs in space.

Fusions in which Shakespearean events play out in a different universe are common; for example, Una McCormack casts Blake as Caesar in her Blake's 7 story, The Last Days of Roj Blake. A rare example of a true crossover is Mirabehn's Giver of Gifts, in which the Thane of Glamis meets his match from The Silmarillion.

RPF

Shakespeare himself appears in occasional historical RPF, often paired with Christopher Marlowe.

Resources

Fanfiction can be found at fanfiction.net, which has a Shakespeare section with nearly 2000 works dating back to 2001. Archive of Our Own and the Yuletide Archive 2003-2008 are good sources. Angevin2 maintains an index of online fanfiction for the history plays.

On livejournal, the rarelitslash community houses Shakespeare fanworks (not just slash). Shakespeare livejournal comms which publish fanworks include bard-slash, shakespearekink and shaksper-random, and thegreatglobe on dreamwidth. Numerous comms devoted to specific plays have sprung up recently, including chameleonsdish (Hamlet), ides-of-april (Greek & Roman plays), thisengland (history plays), unkindestslash (Julius Caesar), we_few (Henry V) and whatyouwill-12n (Twelfth Night). On Yahoo Groups, Shakespeare-Slash, founded in November 2000, was a pre-livejournal venue for slash fanfiction, but appears currently inactive.

Reccers include Beth H, Espresso Addict and Norah. Recommendations have occasionally appeared on Crack Van and at the Recs livejournal comm.

Notable Works

In order of publication:

Reference

  1. 1.0 1.1 angevin2 in comments to Shakespeare at Fanlore post in thisengland livejournal (accessed 4 October 2011)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Fanlore
Browse Categories
Help
Shortcuts for Editors
Toolbox