Shakespeare’s stories have been a great inspiration to writers for over five centuries and his work was clearly influenced by previous stories as well. I love well done adaptations of my favorite plays, whether adapted to a different media or a different time. My favorite screen version of any Shakespeare play is Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. (Looking for an image to share from this I totally got distracted by watching his version of La Traviata!) And while I love Baz Luhrman’s work, his modern version of Romeo and Juliet didn’t work for me (I think this is mostly because Leonardo DiCaprio rarely appeals to me in films). There was a modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare Retold on television that was an hour long and hilarious.
Of course, the Elizabeth Taylor film version of Taming of the Shrew is always fun to watch and has that fabulous first shot of her beautiful eye.
In romance, knowledge of Shakespeare is often used as a sign of a protagonist’s intelligence or provides a way for the hero and heroine to bond over a shared intellectual interest. Shakespeare is peppered through our favorite historicals and the plays themselves have frequently provided structure for stories.
Well, all these filmmakers and writers aren’t the only ones who have been influenced by Shakespeare! I have been, too, and my current Regency project bears more than a small resemblance to Taming of the Shrew. Naturally, with a twist!
How about you? What is your favorite adaptation of a Shakespeare play, whether in romance or otherwise?