Epilogue: Three Billboards and Modulations of Shakespearean Revenge
I conclude with a recent film that shows the ways in which versions of Shakespearean structure and theme are continually produced in culture. Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Twentieth Century Fox, 2017) shows a Titus Andronicus-like concern with revenge for a murdered child, but does so through a radical maternal angle. The heroine must navigate through her grief and rage to come to an understanding that does not involve forgiveness, but eschews vengeance. Not Shakespeare but his view of the world becomes the obstacle to optimism in this present life; there are too many revenge stories, too many Hamlets and the like, but in the non-adaptation, we can tell those stories in a different way, to a different end.