Producing Shakespeare in Post-apartheid South Africa Essay

Producing Shakespeare in Post-apartheid South Africa Essay

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This paper will examine the role of the school in the construction and dissemination of “Shakespeare” in post-apartheid South Africa. In the context of the history of English in the region, and of Shakespeare’s role in entrenching a particular kind of literacy, the paper aims ultimately to explore some of the implications for the industry of English Literature in post-apartheid South Africa.
Shakespeare still has enormous cultural currency in South Africa as elsewhere; English has always been a language of power in the region, a situation whose continuance is unaffected by the recognition of 11 official languages. David Johnson and Martin Orkin have objected to the ways in which Shakespeare has been used to entrench a racist system in colonial and then apartheid South Africa (Johnson 1998; 1996; 1993; Orkin 1991a; 1991b; 1987). On the other hand, Shakespeare has been requested, enjoyed, and utilised by black writers and readers (Wright 1990/1). My own work has sought to combine the politicisation of literary value insisted upon by the first position, with the reality of the second. ...

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