Shakespeare in Southern Africa - latest Issue
Volumes & issues
Volume 28, Issue 1, 2016
Author Chris ThurmanSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp iii –v (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.1More Less
In a country like South Africa, where Shakespeare is still predominantly a phenomenon of the page and the classroom, rather than the stage and the screen, productions of the plays that take audiences into innovative and challenging territory are regrettably rare. As I recently discovered, however, this can result in something like the old saw about London buses: you wait for ages for one to come, and then two arrive at the same time.
"A South African's Homage" at one hundred : revisiting Sol Plaatje's contribution to the Book of Homage to Shakespeare (1916) : 1916-2016 : Sol Plaatje centenary commemorationAuthor Brian WillanSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 1 –19 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.2More Less
This article aims to mark the centenary of the publication of "A South African's Homage", Sol Plaatje's contribution to the tercentenary Book of Homage to Shakespeare, written in both English and Setswana versions, and published by Oxford University Press in 1916. It explores the significance of Plaatje's piece, seeing it, among other things, as a manifesto for his project to translate Shakespeare's plays into Setswana. I investigate the background to the publication of Book of Homage; the way its editor, Israel Gollancz, went about his task; and how it was that Plaatje came to be involved. I offer an explanation for why a significant passage, in which Plaatje upholds Othello as an example for the British Empire to follow in including its black subjects in the armed forces fighting Germany, was omitted; and why - alone of the tributes in the Book of Homage - Plaatje's piece appears anonymously. The explanation, I suggest, can be found in Plaatje's wish not to jeopardise the prospects of what was to him a far higher priority, his book Native Life in South Africa (protesting against the Natives Land Act of 1913), which was published a few weeks later. In the second part of the article I move beyond the immediate circumstances of the publication of "A South African's Homage" and review its place in subsequent scholarship on the nature of Plaatje's engagement with Shakespeare and on the Book of Homage more generally. I conclude with a brief assessment of two of Plaatje's translations that were published - Diphosho-phosho (Comedy of Errors) and Dintshontsho tsa bo-Juliuse Kesara (Julius Caesar). This article also serves as an introduction to the original typescripts of Plaatje's contribution to Book of Homage which are reproduced here in full for the first time.
"A South African's Homage" - published text and original typescripts in English and Setswana : 1916-2016 : Sol Plaatje centenary commemorationAuthor Solomon T. PlaatjeSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 21 –34 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.3More Less
Author Marinus Van NiekerkSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 35 –50 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.4More Less
This article brings to bear aspects of Heidegger and Derrida's critiques of traditional Western understandings of being as presence on Hamlet. Within the context of an exploration of tensions and contradictions in Hamlet related to notions of copy and original, and representation and true being, it argues that, even as the character of Hamlet emerges within the play, the interplay of those very elements that constitute his character and thereby present his being simultaneously displace and endlessly disperse that being in such a way that he cannot be understood to have a cohesive, concealed originary 'depth' or definite 'character'. The article suggests that this playful dispersedness is part of the essential structure of the play, of what might be termed its 'syntax' - that is, the meaningful arrangement together of its constituting elements. The play's cohesion arises, therefore, from the very elements that unravel its cohesiveness.
Author Chris JefferySource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 51 –72 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.5More Less
This paper argues for Romeo and Juliet as three kinds of play cooperating on distinct levels. The main kind is a complex exemplum implying several morals. Its very young lovers are meant to be exemplary victims of adult inadequacy. In another kind, the tragic love-story, they are much closer to adulthood. This story was well known in Shakespeare's day, and he uses it as cover for the third kind, which is covertly political, concerned with pressing issues arising from Tudor rule. With the passage of time awareness of the first and third kinds faded, so that the play has come to be understood simply as a wonderful sad love-story. However, analysis of the text reveals that its main concerns are with the other two kinds.
Author Daniel KoketsoSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 73 –79 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.6More Less
The circumstances under which acts of rape are committed, and the relationship between power and sexual aggression, may seem to be distinctly modern concerns, yet Shakespeare explores them in The Rape of Lucrece (1594). This study seeks to analyse sexual aggression in The Rape of Lucrece using the narcissistic reactance theory of rape, challenging standard readings of the poem. The theory suggests that deprivation of sex will cause some men, especially those who wield power, to desire it all the more and to reclaim it by force. The article uses this theory to examine Tarquin the aggressor's moral choices, his use of both physical violence and violent language, and his sense of sexual entitlement.
Author John StuttardSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 81 –90 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.7More Less
The (other) quatercentenary year
1964 was the 400th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. At Stratford-upon-Avon, there were special celebrations. Under Sir Peter Hall's direction, a special programme of the Henry VI and Richard III plays, The Wars of the Roses, was performed. A new Shakespeare Centre was opened, where visitors could study every aspect of the Bard's work. Representatives from 115 countries of the world came to unfurl their national flags at Stratford on St George's Day, 26th April, the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. Wreaths were laid. Souvenirs were manufactured. The Post Office in the UK produced a special issue of stamps and a gift set of coins and a stamp was available. Sir Laurence Olivier appeared in Othello at the National Theatre.
Author Tara LevertonSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 91 –97 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.8More Less
Geoffrey Hyland's All's Well That Ends Well was performed by senior students in the University of Cape Town (UCT) Drama Department at the Little Theatre on the Hiddingh Campus, which I had never previously visited. Near the entrance there were notice boards offering information about the cast and also a review of the production published in the Cape Argus by Theresa Smith, in which Smith contends that "given the fraught atmosphere on UCT campus, it turns out that All's Well That Ends Well is a perfect platform for the students to voice their feelings in a creative, rather than destructive way". I read these lines before and after attending the performance, and again when I went back for a second viewing. They left a bad taste in my mouth. The platitudinous contention that to create is an innately more positive act than to destroy is careless at best at a moment when student protests - some of which have used destruction as a tactic for conveying the levels of anger amongst the protesters - have stirred up complicated conversations around the role of art in society. Any amount of reflection on the subject produces several refutations: for example, that destruction and creation do not exist in binary opposition; that something may be destroyed in order to make way for the creation of something new; that destruction itself may be an act of creation, converting that which is whole, old and static into that which is new, chaotic and fluid. To offer a relevant example, it may be argued that to create a statue that glorifies the evil actions of an evil man is a worse thing to do than to destroy said statue.
Author Tanya Van Der WaltSource: Shakespeare in Southern Africa 28, pp 99 –101 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sisa.v28i1.9More Less
In viewing the National Children's Theatre's recent touring production of Coriolanus, I was reminded of this idea of Shakespeare's work as something that only becomes itself when we put it into action and make it useful; as something that we use, in order to understand our present through his view of the past.