Sederi 27 — 2017
Francisco J. Borge López
María José Mora
Sofía Muñoz-Valdivieso, “Shakespeare our contemporary in 2016: Margaret Atwood’s rewriting of The Tempest in Hag-Seed” SEDERI 27 (2017): 105–129.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2017.5 Download PDF
Margaret Atwood’s novel Hag-Seed (2016) is a retelling of The Tempest that transfers the actions from the magic island of the original play to present-day Canada: the avant-garde artistic director of a Shakespearean Festival is ousted from his job by his more world-savvy deputy, lives in isolation for twelve years and plots his revenge, which will involve a staging of The Tempest at the local prison where he has been teaching for some time as Mr Duke. Hag-Seed is part of a larger project of fictional retellings of the Bard’s plays conceived by Hogarth Press for the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his death, a moment when Shakespeare’s cultural capital seems to be circulating more energetically than ever. The present article analyses Hag-Seed as a neo-Shakespearean novel that is original in the double sense of the term that Atwood’s teacher Northrop Frye so frequently remarked: imaginative, innovative, and inventive but also true to its fountain and origins.
Keywords: Shakespeare; The Tempest; Margaret Atwood; Hag-Seed; neo-Shakespearean novel; cultural capital.
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