Bohannan, Laura, “‘Shakespeare in the Bush,”
Magazine, August-September, 1966.
A witty account of an anthropologist trying to tell the story of
to Tiv bushmen in Africa. The article is a wonderful model of how to adapt Shakespeare to your audience—Bohannan has Hamlet hoe his mother’s fields and gets into profound arguments whether the ‘ghost’ wasn’t perhaps an omen sent by a witch or a zombie. It also raises the problem of the enormous cultural gap between Shakespeare’s England, our time and other ethnic communities. The result is wryly hopeful.
Nothing Like the Sun,
W.W. Norton & Co, Inc., N.Y: 1964.
A novel about William Shakespeare, frothing with cute, verbal play trying to dazzle. The problem is that its author is nothing as powerful as the Bard himself. For all the intricate linguistic pyrotechnics, it reads pretty thin. However, the grisly account of an execution—traitors are hanged and disemboweled (pp.128-131)—captures some of the brutal reality of Elizabethan England. The passage indicated might make for useful in-class reading as background for
(Trilogy of Films), Encyclopaedia Britannica Films. These films are available through Winchester Library to anyone in the New Haven School System.