METATEXTUALITY AND NARRATIVE TECHNIQUES IN STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S INTO THE WOODS ON STAGE AND SCREEN
Keywords:Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods, metatextuality, narrative techniques, film adaptation
This paper focuses on the transmedial relationship between Stephen Sondheim’s 1987 Broadway musical Into the Woods and its 2014 film adaptation directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Disney Studios. It places emphasis on the various medium-specific narrative devices the two texts employ in order to bring forth the story’s central motif of storytelling. The metatextual motif of storytelling is deconstructed against Stephen Sondheim’s postmodernist ideology as he challenges the closed system within which fairy-tales traditionally figure, drawing attention to the artificiality of the inherited notions of good and evil, and by extension, the fallibility of prescribed narratives. Finally, this paper offers a detailed analysis of narrative layers and narratorial figures in Into the Woods on stage and screen, ultimately concluding that, due to its lack of an omniscient narrative voice to be questioned, the story’s transposition onto the screen fails to reiterate the significance of metatextuality of the central motif that has proven fundamental to Sondheim’s play.
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