Michèle Willems Biography

Michèle Willems, now Emeritus Professor, taught English Renaissance literature for 33 years at the University of Rouen (France) where she was in charge of the “Center for Studies of Anglo-Saxon Theatre” for some 20 years.

She has published extensively on Shakespeare, in both French and English. Her first center of interest was the genesis of Bardolatry in eighteenth-century England : she wrote her “doctorat d’état,” published in 1979, on La genèse du mythe shakespearien, 1660-1780, and is now returning to reception studies with her research on Hamlet in France and analyses of Ducis’s adaptations.

Her other main interest is the study of Shakespeare on screen, particularly on television, the subject of a Shakespeare Survey article in 1987 and of a book of interviews and analyses (Shakespeare à la télévision) which she edited the same year. She has also contributed to Shakespeare and the Moving Image, edited by Anthony Davies and Stanley Wells (Cambridge University Press, 1994) and to the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film, edited by Russell Jackson (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Other publications in English include articles on Shakespearean plays, such as “Death and Rebirth in Macbeth and The Winter's Tale” (Cahiers élisabéthains 21 [1982]), “Misconstruction in 1 Henry IV ” (Cahiers élisabéthains 37 [1990]), reprinted in Shakespearean Criticism 47), or “‘They do but jest but jest’: Reflections on the ambiguities of the space-within-the-space” (in The Show Within, edited by François Laroque, 1992); and the co-edition of volumes of essays such as French Studies in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (published by the University of Delaware Press in 1995), and Travel and Drama in Shakespeare’s Time (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

She has recently translated two plays by Ben Jonson (Volpone and The Alchemist), to be published by Gallimard.