This subject raises basic questions: What is a (literary or filmic) text? How was it made, and under what conditions? Who made it, and why should that matter? What happened to it over time? What do we make of it now, and why? We will focus on four major narrative works from different periods and genres: most probably, a play by Shakespeare, a nineteenth-century novel, a more contemporary literary work, and a film. Through close attention to these works’ origins, contemporary reception, and subsequent fate, we will examine the crucial roles of storytelling and interpretation in the making of meaning.