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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.64, No.2, 253 ~ 273, 2018
Title
Shakespeare and Arab Culture: Cases of Sulayman Al-Bassam’s The Al-Hamlet Summit and Richard III, an Arab Tragedy
Younglim Han
abstract
Sulayman Al-Bassam is recognized as the leading adaptor-director of Shakespeare in the Arab world of today. His adaptations have gained much attention around the globe. Celebrated cases of his Arab Shakespeare are The Al-Hamlet Summit and Richard III, an Arab Tragedy. This study intends to demonstrate that these two plays form a ground for challenging and irritating dialogue between the Middle East and the West. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Richard III are used as a discourse space for engaging with the inefficiency of Arab political culture and for exposing the economic machinations of the West. This space is constituted by the ongoing process of politically inclusive affiliation and exclusive disjunction, with the result that is not relevant to notions of synthesis and symbiosis. The process corresponds with that of distancing and identification in which the strategy of subversion is employed in order to unveil Western prejudices. Al-Bassam materializes Shakespeare’s text as a gateway to understanding Arab society and culture, and to investigating questions as to how the modern Arab world could negotiate their cultural currencies with the West.
Key Words
Shakespeare, Arab Culture, Sulayman Al-Bassam, The Al-Hamlet Summit, Richard III, an Arab Tragedy
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