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“Steven Bochco could kick Shakespeare’s ass”. The Simpsons’ attack on the Shakespeare myth

Maria Elisa Montironi


This paper aims at describing the ways in which the Shakespeare myth is dealt with by The Simpsons, the worldwide successful American sit-com which since 1990 has depicted and reflected upon contemporary society, including its relation to and the institutionalization of literary canons, such as the Shakespearean one. In this investigation, The Simpsons will be considered as a trans-medial phenomenon, including, besides the celebrated sit-com, also the Simpsons based adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth created and performed by Rick Miller (2002), the video games that feature the famous yellow-skinned characters, and the comic book series entitled Simpsons Comics. After a brief theoretical introduction, this paper will illustrate how the Shakespeare myth is de-mythologized through The Simpsons, to be re-mythologized so as to function and be meaningful in our contemporary world. In the conclusion, an attempt will be made to answer the extremely complex question about the political effectiveness of these acts.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2014-001-mont


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952

Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi

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