“Let Me Be That I Am And Seek Not To Alter Me” Gender And Sexuality In Adaptations Of Much Ado About NOTHING

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This thesis examines the representation of gender and sexuality in two adaptations of Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing: Kenneth Branagh’s film Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and the Candle Wasters’ web series Nothing Much To Do (2014). This thesis aims to answer the question of how the representation of gender and sexuality in the characters of Beatrice and Benedick changed through the two aforementioned adaptations. This thesis uses feminist theories on gender and sexuality to analyse how Benedick and Beatrice are represented in terms of gender, and how they are portrayed in terms of sexuality as a couple. This thesis argues that the film Much Ado About Nothing adheres stronger to traditional gender roles and traditional power relations in heterosexual couples than Nothing Much To Do. Both of these adaptations were made for a youthful demographic and it rapidly gained popularity among teenagers and young adults, but this thesis argues that the non-traditional way in which Nothing Much To Do represents their characters in terms of gender and sexuality is especially appealing to a young audience, as is evident from the age of the creators of the adaptation and the platform of YouTube on which it is housed. Key words: William Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh, the Candle Wasters, Much Ado About Nothing, Nothing Much To Do, Judith Butler, Monique Wittig, Adaptations, Gender, Sexuality.
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