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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the place of Shakespeare’s tragedies in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. It begins with the imposition of apartheid in 1948 and Afrikaans Shakespeare; it goes on to look at Sol Plaatje’s Setswana translations of Shakespeare; and then considers rhetorical and allegorical treatments of Shakespearean tragedy in relation to Robben Island, Nelson Mandela, and Thabo Mbeki. This is followed by an account of the reception, in South Africa and abroad, of three landmark South African productions in the twentieth century: Janet Suzman’s Othello, Gregory Doran’s Titus Andronicus, and Welcome Msomi’s Umabatha. It concludes with a brief discussion of the representation of Africa in the Globe-to-Globe 2012 festival at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Mandela, Mbeki, Antony Sher, apartheid, Gregory Doran, John Kani, Janet Suzman, Globe-to-Globe

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