Use this guide to get started with your research for ENGL 432: Shakespeare Redux
Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho follows the journeys of two young male hustlers - Mike Waters (River Phoenix), a narcoleptic and homeless addict searching for his mother and Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), the privileged and rebellious son of the mayor of Portland. The film borrows some character outlines and parts of the narrative framework of Shakespeare's Henriad (especially Henry IV Part 1) but is not a pure adaptation of the plays.
Together, we'll analyze a scene from Idaho and identify relevant avenues for research:
1. Watch the clip from My Own Private Idaho.
2. In your group, examine and compare Shakespeare's text from Henry IV Part 1, Act I Scene 2.
3. Generate a list of 2-3 ideas for research. What is interesting about Van Sant's adaptation of this scene? Why? What themes or elements from Shakespeare's text does Van Sant repurpose? What would you research to support your analysis?