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  • Author: Mahmoud F. Al-Shetawi x
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Mahmoud F. Al-Shetawi

Building on what has already been documented in related scholarship concerning this topic, this article will look into facets of postcolonial theory vis-à-vis appropriations and adaptations of the plays of Shakespeare in Arabic. In doing so, the article will compare known postcolonial 'Shakespeares', and Arabic appropriations of his plays. It will comment on the postcolonial aspects of these plays and show whether Arab dramatists have been 'writing back', so to speak, in response to the colonial experience. The article addresses the following questions: first, do Arab playwrights deal with postcolonial issues in their appropriations of Shakespeare? Second, to what extent have Arab playwrights used Shakespeare to 'strike' at colonialism? Third, are Arab playwrights aware of postcolonial theory and discourse? And fourth, what is the nature of the Arabic contribution to postcolonial discourse? Although the treatment of Shakespeare in Arabic literature, especially drama and poetry, has been considered elsewhere, this particular approach to the Bard is relatively new. The article contends that there are postcolonial appropriations of Shakespeare in Arabic, which need to be properly investigated and commented upon with reference to postcolonial literary theory.

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Mahmoud F. Al-Shetawi, Anna Blackwell, Graham Holderness, Ruth O'Callaghan and Rowan Williams

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