By Stephen O'Neill
The video-sharing platform YouTube signs intriguing possibilities and demanding situations for Shakespeare reviews. As consumer, distributor and archive, YouTube events new kinds of user-generated Shakespeares, but a discounted Bard too, topic to the distractions of the modern networked mediascape.
This e-book identifies the genres of YouTube Shakespeare, reading them via theories of remediation and media convergence and as indices of Shakespeare's moving cultural meanings. Exploring the intersection of YouTube's participatory tradition - its invitation to 'Broadcast Yourself' - with its company good judgment, the e-book argues that YouTube Shakespeare is a website of efficient rigidity among new types of self-expression and the homogenizing results of mass culture.
Stephen O'Neill unfolds the variety of YouTube's Bardic productions to intricate on their strength as educating and studying assets. The e-book importantly argues for a severe media literacy, one who attends to identification buildings and to the politics of race and gender as they emerge via Shakespeare's new media forms.
Shakespeare and YouTube may be of curiosity to scholars and students of Shakespearean drama, poetry and diversifications, in addition to to new media reports.
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Extra info for Shakespeare and YouTube: New Media Forms of the Bard (The Arden Shakespeare)
Others such as ‘vids’ or fan-made music videos, are associated with earlier forms of amateur culture, but are afforded greater visibility on YouTube. Yet more genres come to the platform via Shakespeare’s citational status, as in the example of the iconic speech. This chapter inevitably prioritizes some videos over others in discussing these genres and, as with any act of selection, the 28 SHAKESPEARE AND YOUTUBE analysis carries its own value judgements. Recent critical work on Shakespeare adaptations and popular culture provides a useful interpretative framework for approaching the range of Shakespeare content on YouTube.
With these factors in mind, it has been decided to provide metadata for videos throughout. 88 The chapters that follow elaborate on the objectives of this study to examine the genres of YouTube Shakespeare and to assess what implications the platform has for Shakespeare’s meanings. Chapter 1 examines the YouTube interface, taking the reader through a phenomenological overview of a single search page for As You Like It to consider specificities of use and the attention economy of the information age, interrelations between commercially produced and vernacular content, as well as the potential motivations behind the bardic function.
Load more suggestions’: Search as You/Tube like it YouTube culture brings its own specificities of use, engagement and response to Shakespeare. In pursuing these specificities, I want to take an example of a search category and consider the results of a single search page. 11 As viewed on a desktop computer, the search page displays 20 results per page and the Searchable Shakespeares 29 search is indicative of YouTube’s mixed content. 12 The videos include trailers and excerpts from an RSC production currently in the repertory; a clip from a reading of ‘All the World’s a Stage’ for a BBC documentary; the BBC Animated Tales series; the full As You Like It (1936), starring Laurence Olivier; and a full stage production from Bangor University.