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Sh@kespeare in the Media

From the Globe Theatre to the World Wide Web


Edited By Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier and Jörg Helbig

This collection of critical essays and interviews gives an overview of the various kinds of medial manifestations which Shakespeare’s work has been transferred into over the centuries: into a theatrical performance, a printed text, a painting, an opera, an audio book, a film, a radio or television drama, a website. On the whole this overview also provides a history of the general development of Shakespearean media. Practitioners as well as scholars focus on the strengths and weaknesses, the possibilities and limitations of each medium with regard to the representation of Shakespeare’s work.


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Hardy M. Cook (Bowie, Maryland): Shakespeare on the internet -179


HARDY M. COOK Shakespeare on the Internet In these the early years of the twenty-first century, the Internet appears ubiquitous. In North America, Europe, and increasingly the rest of the world, the vast majority of children and high school, college, and university students have not known a world without it, and all its consequent benefits and ills. Their elders, however, can recall life without e-mail and the World Wide Web. Thus, for both groups, before examining a selection of the currently available resources related to Shakespeare, I believe it appropriate to provide a brief survey of the origins of the medium and its academic applications. The information gathered for this history of the Internet was gleaned from a number of sources, many of which can be accessed at The Internet Society's "All About the Internet" page . Without being too technical, one could contend that the Internet began in 1961 when Leonard Kleinrock developed "the theory of packet switching, which was to form the basis of Internet connections" (Howe). In 1966, The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) worked on "(ARPANET) intended to promote the sharing of super- computers amongst researchers in the United States" (Life). ARPANET was brought online in 1969, at first connecting four United States universities. In 1971, Ray Tomlinson invented an "email program to send messages across a distributed network" (Zakon); this program became operable on the ARPANET the following year. In 1973, ARPANET was connected to "University College in London, England and the Royal...

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