Author Archives: plasmix

Bringing the racial politics of Shakespeare’s Venice to the modern stage

Jacob Cohen in Habima’s The Merchant of Venice. Photograph: Tristram Kenton, The Guardian.

Since the 1800s, Israel and Palestine have been embroiled in a bitter war over land, water, religion, and the fight for their own national and personal identity to be recognised. In 2012, these two countries had an additional conflict on their minds: the performance of a Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice, and the problematic representation of Shylock, the displaced Jew.

Continue reading

On Shakespeare’s own translations

Shakespeare offers us all manners of translation in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from translating Bottom’s head into an ass, to Helena wishing to be translated into her best friend Hermia. But even more interestingly, Shakespeare himself is actively involved in the act of translation, and perhaps the modes of translation and the difficulties in doing so are reflective of Shakespeare’s hand and his own difficulties at work.

Continue reading