"No writer has served as such a powerful source of inspiration for other writers, or attracted such varied and widespread comment, as William Shakespeare. From West Side Story, Ivan Turgenev's A Lear of the Steppes, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead to Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert's "Elegy for Fortinbras," Shakespeare's presence in literature and theater has been powerful and pervasive." (Source)

More than 420 feature-length film versions of Shakespeare's plays have been produced since the early 20th century, making Shakespeare the most filmed author ever. Some of the film adaptations, especially  Hollywood movies marketed to teenage audiences, use his plots rather than his dialogue, while others are simply filmed versions of his plays. (Source) (Samples: 01 - 02 - 03)

"When I was asked to write the programme notes for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of an African Julius Caesar at Stratford-upon-Avon, I tried to imagine what it would be like. My first image was of African actors struggling to be like Romans speaking quaint 16th century English. It would be admirable but unconvincing. Black skins beneath white masks I had thought. An African Caesar would be almost as awkward as a European Othello. I could not have been more wrong. It was as if the play was written for those actors. Every gesture and intonation is African. So are the political themes: noble ideals leading good men to bloody murder, the coup against a tyrant followed by the falling out of the conspirators, petty jealousies, sly duplicity and secret plotting. All these themes have haunted African politics for half a century. Here are Idi Amin, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Laurent Kabila and Colonel Gaddafi. Ashanti togas and wrap-around lappas make it even more authentically African as if the play was about a recent coup in Africa. An all European cast could only be to the play as a re-enactment of ancient history. This African production is a news story". (…)

"Shakespeare knew something of Africa. Burgeoning trade with West Africa, increasingly in slaves, brought many Africans to London. Two years before Shakespeare was born Sir John Hawkins had grabbed 300 Africans from what is now Sierra Leone and taken them for sale in America. In 1590 the trade, increasingly in slaves, brought so many Africans to London that Queen Elizabeth issued an expulsion order. Shakespeare would have seen them go. He would also have probably talked with merchants and sea captains and Africans themselves and heard tales of the fabled wealth of Africa".

"In 1970 in South Africa Welcome Msomi wrote a Zulu version of Macbeth, uMabatha. The witches translate directly as Sangomas, the powerful spirit mediums who foretell the future to a powerful warrior. (...) As Nelson Mandela said of the play: “The similarities between Shakespeare's Macbeth and (Zulu history) become a glaring reminder that the world is, philosophically, a very small place.”". (Source)

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