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Date of Award

9-2018

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition

Department

English

First Reader/Committee Chair

Luck, Jessica

Abstract

This thesis analyzes the representation of disability in adaptations of Shakespeare’s Richard III in order to propose a theory of Prosthetic Adaptation. Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine’s film adaptation, and Patrick Warren’s manga adaptation, are closely read through the lenses of Adaptation Theory and Critical Disability Studies. Prosthetic Adaptation is the use and incorporation of disability in adapted texts in such a way that both the text and the portrayal/reading of the disability are mutually transformed. Close reading analysis is conducted with both Critical Disability Studies and Adaptation Studies lenses. The transformation of the texts and disability work together to push the boundaries of their genre/medium that they have been transformed into, using those broken boundaries to comment on disability itself. McKellen and Loncraine’s film uses archetypes of war films and shifts in tone to comment on the dangers of the disability stereotype and spectacle in film; Warren uses color and form to create a strong visual metaphor of the invisibility of disability to the able-bodied eye, commenting how disability is erased and removed from sociocultural context. It is through these commentaries that both the concept of disability and the texts themselves experience a broadening of potential meanings and a reshaping of boundaries.

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