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Shakespeare in the Bush - Essay Example

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“Shakespeare in Bush” is the story in which the tribesmen make the writer change her views about the single and universal interpretation of stories. Previously the writer believed that great literary works like Hamlet have some sort of universality in them and can be…
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Shakespeare in the Bush
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"Shakespeare in the Bush"

Download file to see previous pages The tribal head, in the end, points out that the story has some loopholes and advises her that they should get guidance from them or their own elders to make the story of Hamlet more meaningful.
Laura, a professor of anthropology is living among the people an Africa tribe for some research project. The people there remained busy in their ceremonies while the writer spent time in reading Hamlet. The writer used to go to their huts and drank beer with them and talked to them. Once the old man of the tribe showed curiosity in the “ papers” read by the writer and asked them to tell the story she was reading. The writer told them the story of the Hamlet and during the rendition of the story it dawned upon Laura that it was difficult to communicate some concepts to these tribesmen as the concepts of “ King” and “ ghost” were alien to them and they were satisfied instead with the their own terms like “ chief” and “ witch” to interpret these concepts. Although the writer knew that the use of these words may change the connotations of the story but she had no other way. Furthermore, Hamlet’s reaction at the remarriage of his mother was strange to them as in their culture it was a common practice and they saw no wickedness in Claudius’ acceding to throne and marrying Gertrude. Old man also thought that Ophelia must have killed by Laertes as a result of some witchcraft and they were also surprised at the fact that Polonius did not reveal his identity while hiding behind the arras.
The Old man without embarrassing the writer makes her realize that there were certain flaws in the story and she should take the advice of the elders of her community to access to the true meaning of the story. Thus in the end the writer comes to know that the idea of universality of literature is somewhat baseless as every culture has its own ways of interpretation of stories and there could be more than one meaning to a story like ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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