The Representations Of Femininity In Pride And Prejudice

918 words - 4 pages

Jane Austen, one of the most well-known 19th century novelists recognized today continues to captivate people with stories of love and romance through the transformation of her novels into film and television. All of her novels are about women dealing with romance, courtship, and marriage during a repressing period. Most of her characters and stories revolve around the lives of the upper class. It centers on the values, rituals, and manners of high society in England during the Regency Era. Her most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice published in 1813 maintains the interest of its audiences as it did almost two centuries earlier as evidenced by its frequent incarnations.
In 1995, the British Broadcasting Corporation produced a six episode mini-series of Pride and Prejudice in partnership with Arts & Entertainment Network starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth as Elizabeth and Darcy. BBC also made four other adaptations of the novel prior to this one in 1952, 1958, 1967 and 1985. The network is famous for producing many period television dramas and films from popular classic books. The 1995 drama series adaptation has won seven awards including an Emmy out of eleven nominations for Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Series, and so forth. It has been well-received by audiences and has sustained high ratings of 9.2 out of 10 in the Internet Movie Database. Tom Benton, an IMDB reviewer writes, “The production design and costuming is perfect, capturing the time without error, and the locations are simply gorgeous. Carl Davis' score is terrific and fitting. Andrew Davies' script brings every last scene from the book and then pops in some new, being as absolutely faithful to the book as anyone could hope to be”. Many people claim that this particular version has the best portrayal of Mr. Darcy. According to another reviewer, Wulfstan10 says that the actor Colin Firth has “perfectly captured the character's aristocratic refinedness, his shyness and sense of decorum that come across as apparent stuffiness and disdain”, he adds that it’s a “simple facade for the strong emotions and character underneath” and that “his eyes, say so much of the complexity of his character and his feelings with subtle expressions” (Pride). This adaptation offers an accurate representation of the story and characters which overall offers a beautiful visual rich in semiotics for exploration.
In Roberta Grandi’s article, The Passion Translated: Literary and Cinematic Rhetoric in Pride and Prejudice, she observes that “in an age when naked bodies are overexposed and sex is common topic of discussion, costume films rediscover a taste for visual repression. Through the concealment of the bodies and translation of their sensuality into objects, both voyeuristic and fetishist sensations are enhanced” (50) which I believe is the reason behind the lasting appeal of period dramas. This will keep audiences,...

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