Orson Welles, Shakespeare, and Popular Culture

The author considers Orson Welles's influence as an interpreter of Shakespeare for 20th-century American popular audiences. The text explores his work on stage, radio and in film, and reveals his position as an artist of both high and popular culture. Anderegg illustrates how Welles tried to transcend the barriers between the classical and the popular, and argues that Welles sought to restore the lowbrow popularity of Shakespeare in 19th-century America. Anderegg also examines Welles's three adaptations of Shakespeare, the public reception of them, his work as an actor and the view that he squandered his talents after in the era after Citizen Kane .