Dennis Kennedy explores the benefits of translating and evolving Shakespeare.
· “The connections and cultural connotations that derive from playing Shakespeare in his own tongue are simply not applicable in another country and in another language” (3). Therefore, each new, worldly Shakespeare parody relies on only the most basic elements of the original work; these parodies are largely composed of unique and original material.
· “By drawing analogies to the apocalyptic nightmares of the European absurdists, [Kott] deprived Shakespeare of the comfortable status of a tamed classic (9). He “suggested that evil was an unending, cyclical force” (10).
· Weimann struggled to balance “the history of a work’s origins in the past and the story of its effects in the present” (11). His style of play was referred to as Brechtian, and “unlike the Kottian method, when tended to suggest the unchanging nature of a cosmos ruled by cruel but invisible forces, Brechtian productions wished to suggest that human beings could control an thus change their own fates” (12).
When Laura Bohannon tells the story of Hamlet to a group of African tribesmen, she realizes how varied certain opinions on the play actually are.
o Her idea: Hamlet’s mother did wrong in not mourning for two years
VS: “Two years is too long…Who will hoe your farms for you while you have no husband?”
o Her idea: Hamlet’s revenge was justified
VS: “If your father’s brother has killed your father, you must appeal to your father’s age mates: they may avenge him. No man may use violence against his senior relatives.”
o Her idea: Hamlet did wrong by killing Polonius; Polonius was innocent
VS: “One cannot take vengeance on a madman; Hamlet killed Polonius in his madness."