Shakespearean Intertextuality in “The Rivals”


This paper explores Shakespearean intertextuality in The Rivals (1775), a comedy by the British playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. In this play, we find characters parallel to those in plays such as The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado about Nothing, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream, etc. Through intertextual connections with sources or analogues found in Shakespeares works, Sheridan elaborates on the themes and characterization in The Rivals and increased dramatic tension. By drawing on the theories proposed by Julia Kristeva and Linda Hutcheon concerning intertextuality, adaptation, parody, and theatrical illusion, this paper addresses The Rivals in relation to its applications of different literary forms, including allusion, quotation, translation, parody, and pastiche. This paper focuses on the investigations of three aspects: first, the intertextual impacts that may result in new or hybrid signification; second, the signification that may influence the achievement of the comic effects; and third, the influences of the playwrights cultural background on his applications of the Shakespearean tradition.

Author Information
Hsin-yun Ou, National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2015
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*

This paper is part of the ACAH2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon