Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Welcome, "Global Shakespeares" 2012 group

As an experiment, I've decided to make this year's Global Shakespeares class blog continuous with the blog from the first time I taught this course, to the first class of incoming Kilachand (then University) Honors College freshmen.  That will make it easier to find useful links posted by the previous class.

Students from 2010, now mighty juniors - feel free to un-follow, or lurk, or even participate.
Students from 2012: this is your space to share your Shakespeare-related thoughts, questions, and findings with your classmates and the wider world.  And to react to all the movies and live theatre we are getting to see this semester!

1 comment:

  1. Hello everyone! I'm posting my information from the articles as a comment because I'm not yet part of the blog. Sorry for any confusion!

    Bohannon “Shakespeare in the Bush”:
    As Bohannon retells the plot of “Hamlet” to a group of village elders in the African bush, she struggles to communicate the cultural nuances in Shakespeare’s complex story. The article discusses the aspects of Shakespeare’s work within different environments; the message of a great work can easily be lost depending on the customs and expectations of various societies.
    “Impossible,” began one of the elders, handing his pipe on to his neighbor, who interrupted, “Of course it wasn’t the dead chief. It was an omen sent by a witch. Go on.”
    1) “In our country also,” he added to me, “the younger brother marries the elder brother’s widow and becomes the father of his children. Now, if your uncle, who married your widowed mother, is your father’s full brother, then he will be a real father to you. Did Hamlet’s father and uncle have one mother?”
    2) With a pang, I remembered that these people are ardent hunters, always armed with bow, arrow, and machete; at the first rustle in the grass an arrow is aimed and ready, and the hunter shouts “Game!” If no human voice answers immediately, the arrow speeds on its way. Like a good hunter, Hamlet had shouted, “A rat!”

    3) "Hamlet was again a good story to them, but it no longer seemed quite the same story to me."

    4) “Sometime,” concluded the old man, gathering his ragged toga about him, “you must tell us some more stories of your country. We, who are elders, will instruct you in their true meaning, so that when you return to your own land your elders will see that you have not been sitting in the bush, but among those who know things and who have taught you wisdom.”

    Dennis Kennedy: “Shakespeare without his language”
    Kennedy discusses two major topics in the article: English speakers lack of understanding in regards to Shakespeare’s English and the freedom from linguistics afforded to productions or adaptations of Shakespeare outside the Anglo-world. English as it is spoken widely today is constantly changing and remains distinctly different from the English in which Shakespeare’s works were written. Much of the article covers the productions of Shakespeare outside the English speaking world, where directors and authors deal less with the language of Shakespeare and more with the message of the work.

    1) “…Shakespeare was an English writer, after all, and since the eighteenth century the understanding and formal assessment of his work have been in the hands of critics and editors with profound allegiances to English literature.” (1)

    2) “This oppositional use of Shakespeare has received an intriguing variation more recently, when the plays were used in postwar Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union as dissident texts.” (3)

    3) “…Shakespeare has been influenced by circumstances entirely foreign to those that apply in the Anglo-American tradition… It is worth remembering that there is no phrase in English equivalent to coup d’├ętat.” (5)

    4) “…foreign performances have explored scenographic and physical modes more openly than their Anglophone counter-parts, often redefining the meaning of the plays in the process.” (6)

    5) “Populist directors… struck a bargain with Shakespeare: he delivered a Renaissance classic text, they overlaid it with a postwar social text.” (12)

    6) “Postmodern experiments with Shakespeare were held in check in Great Britain and North American until quite recently” (14)

    7) “In the end Shakespeare doesn’t belong to any nation or anybody: Shakespeare is foreign to all of us.” (16)