Shakespeare in Indian Cinema

Journal issue, 25. July 2021.

Call for Papers

Date: July 25, 2021

Naseeruddin Shah, the actor, once claimed that “The roots may look lost but every big story in the Hindi film industry is from Shakespeare.” It might not be as simple as that but what Shah was pointing out was to the fact that there are many references to Shakespeare’s plays in Hindi film. Not just Hindi but Indian cinema reveals an adaptation and appropriation of the Bard of Avon. There are themes and devices so commonly found in Shakespeare’s plays in Indian films, such as twins separated at birth, cross dressing characters, star-crossed lovers, characters falling in love with messengers, the wise fool, the tamed Shrew and the mousetrap device.

Shakespeare plays have been translated and adapted into many Indian languages. They have been performed in English and in indigenous performative forms like the jatra, nautanki and classical dance forms like Kathakali, as well. His plays have been adapted and appropriated in Indian cinema – Maqbool, Haider, Othello, Angoor, Shylock, Sairaat, Branti Bilaash, Hamlet, Gundamma Katha, Dil Bole Hadippa (a loose adaptation of Twelfth Night), Veeram to name just a few. There are films which use a scene, a dialogue, a reference to his plays, maybe a reference to a character and work them wonderfully into the context of the film.

Issue 99 (Sep-Oct 2021) of Muse India invites essays (not exceeding 2,500 words) on adaptations of Shakespeare in Indian cinema. We are most interested in essays that deal not just with Hindi film adaptations but cinema in all Indian languages. We are also interested in the way the Bard and his works are contextualized and re-contextualized in Indian cinema.

GUIDELINES: Please check the detailed submissions guidelines by clicking on the relevant link on the MI Homepage.


Times New Roman Font, 12-point, with  1.5 spacing.

A brief bio-note of the author and a high resolution, clear photograph, if not already available with MI.

Last date for submission: 25 Jul 2021.

For any other information, contact:
Dr Nishi Pulugurtha, Guest Editor, at:

Contact Info:
Dr Nishi Pulugurtha, Guest Editor
Associate Professor
Department of English
Brahmananda Keshab Chandra College
Contact Email: