I'd like to talk about the relationship between my experience of filmmaking and my thinking about the teaching and interpreting of Shakespeare. Filmmaking has had an extraordinary influence on my awareness of a play as a work of art, or rather as a series of artistic choices. When we read a play as a literary text, it already exists as a finished product, and we try to understand it as such. It would not ordinarily occur to us to wonder why it has a particular form — why it begins and ends in this manner rather than other equally possible ways. When I made the film The Poetry of Robert Frost, I began, of course, with a literary text, with a selection of Frost's poetry. But, in a sense, I also began with a blank page, with the questions: "How shall I handle the poetry cinematically? How shall I present 'The Hill Wife,' for example, in film?"



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