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Reinterpreting the ‘Bard’: Shakespearean Performances in India and (East) Germany

Author(s): Dhurjjati Sarma

Journal: Space and Culture, India
ISSN 2052-8396

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Theatre in India and Germany | Shakespearean adaptations | Comparative Analysis | Indian Response to Shakespeare

This essay attempts to undertake a comparative study of the Shakespearean appropriations in late 19th century India under colonial rule on one hand, and in mid-20th century (East) Germany on the other. While 19th century Indian responses to Shakespeare carried a covert nationalist agenda against the British rulers who had made him complicit in the colonial project, the mid-20th century German adaptations found in him, a potent site for voicing their opposition against the governments, which had imposed censorship regulations upon newspapers, books and television. Within this framework and making use of the textual, performative and audience sensibility components, the paper would endeavor to: a) explore the nuances in the performance strategies of selected playwrights from both the countries, and understand the extent of divergences and departures from the English text; and b) scrutinise the location of these performances respectively within the overlapping currents of colonial modernity, nationality and regional identity in the 19th and 20th century India, and the post-war communist regimes operating in (East) Germany.

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