November 10, 2008
In America, Shakespeare is one of the most well known authors in history. Of course, being as we are, we assume he is as well known in the rest of the world. Granted that he may be known to human beings all around the world, we don’t take the time to stop and think that not all cultures view certain situations and standpoints in the same light we do. Meaning, when Shakespeare rights his famous tragedies, the true concept and drama behind these writings that make them so controversial, may not be understood and grasped fully. An excellent example of this is shown in Laura Bohannan’s article called Shakespeare in the Bush. In this article she describes exactly what was mentioned previously, how the whole world doesn’t grasp Shakespeare because of their personal beliefs. In her essay she focuses in on one of Shakespeare’s more famous works known as Hamlet. In this essay I expect to analyze her essay, Shakespeare in the Bush, on the subject mentioned previously and compare her feelings to my own.
As previously stated, the whole world has different rituals and beliefs. In Laura Bohannan’s article we see how she is faced with an account of these different personal beliefs. In her article she gives us a summary of how she traveled to West Africa, and while there she tried to read the peoples of this culture Shakespeare’s Hamlet. What she thought would be a fun, recreational task turned into somewhat of a cultural nightmare. As she soon realized when telling them the story, they have a completely different belief system then we do in America. Many of the key elements that make Hamlet what it is will not be understood. Some of these key elements consisted of marriage laws, “ghostly encounters”, and the killing itself that takes place in the story. In her article Bohannan explains to us that she often found herself getting frustrated and sometimes even cross at the African people because even when she...