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Julian Fellowes outrages critics by rewriting Shakespeare

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Sep 02, 2013 | 6:11am EDT

Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes has been criticised for altering the words of William Shakespeare. The creator of hit British drama Downton Abbey came under fire when he was accused of rewriting lines in his adaptation of Romeo And Juliet, which is due for release later this year (13). After watching a trailer for the new movie, critics claim Fellowes has simplified lines and reconstructed phrases, and as the script still sounds authentic they believe audiences could be misled into thinking they are listening to The Bard's original words. Caitlin Griffin, of Washington D.C.'s Folger Shakespeare Library, tells Britain's Daily Express, "While the language still sounds lofty, they are not Shakespeare's word choices, and that's a big deal. Fellowes' adaptation, while poetic and set in the period of Shakespeare's play, is not using Shakespeare's language. "Adaptation is a fine thing but I honestly cannot see the point of an adaptation in which little to none of the original text is used." However, the director insists he has written the script for a new generation, adding, "People are entitled to say whatever they wish, good luck to them say I."

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