"Whereas Shakespeare has been a given in English for some centuries, readers and audiences in linguistically foreign environments have had to find a desire for him."
"'On the one hand, Shakespeare's theatre is irremediably a thing of the past; on the other, his plays have survived the conditions from which they originated and are continually revitalized on the modern stage.'"
While English speakers use Shakespeare to explore the individual, foreign adaptations use Shakespeare as a springboard for social and political commentary.
Shakespeare in the Bush
This article is the account of anthropologist Laura Bohannon's attempt to explain Hamlet to a west African chief and his colleagues. She discovered that although certain parts of Hamlet had no easy translation, it could be interpreted in much the same way through the lens of a different culture. Furthermore, to her surprise, the chief and his colleagues were able to infer pieces of the plot from their own experiences and customs.
"'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.'"