It is probably a mistake that we ask modern audiences to encounter Shakespeare always in the purest possible form—something that at the very least we know his original audiences did not do. His plays have been abridged, expurgated, and sometimes (in case of King Lear) rewritten. From Charles and Mary Lamb’s to Richard Amour’s to , plenty of work has been done to render Shakespeare more accessible to the children who will (we hope) grow up to enjoy his plays. Movies of Shakespeare plays often abridge and adapt. A person who enjoys Trevor Nunn’s delightful, but heavily abridged, Twelfth Night movie is better off than the person who avoids the play because he finds it intimidating. Shakespeare is flexible; he can bend a lot before being broken.


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