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SHJB 156 (2020)

Shakespeare Jahrbuch 2020


“Is a translation meant for readers who do not understand the original?”, Walter Benjamin famously asked in his essay on “The Task of the Translator”, only to show that this presumption is too reductive. Even though the “foreign” or “original word” may “endure” in the translation, it necessarily undergoes a transformation. Accordingly, the essays in this yearbook approach translations not simply as linguistic renderings from one language into another, but rather as complex cultural, historical and medial processes of transfer. The number of interlingual translations increased significantly in England around 1600, and this marks, according to Andreas Mahler, an epochal break and the beginning of early modernity. Gabriela Schmidt proposes a reading of Prospero as a type of the humanist translator. Several contributions explore the specific features and objectives of Shakespeare translations in their respective target languages and cultures: for a reflection of Nazi Germany in Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus (Norbert Greiner), for the self-image of colonial Hong Kong in Richard Ho’s Hamlet: Sword of Vengeance (Miriam Leung Che Lau), and regarding Portuguese renditions of sexualised allusions to Venus (Rui Carvalho Homem). Through translations, languages and cultures converge into a multi-layered dialogue. This is exemplified by Karen Newman in her examination of the programme commemorating the visit of English actors to Paris (1827), and also by Eleine Ng-Gagneux in her analysis of Ong Keng Sen’s multilingual adaptation Lear Dreaming (2012). Benjamin’s reflection on the original’s “maturing” (Nachreife) in a translation is central to Elisabeth Bronfen’s exploration of how Shakespeare “flares up” in contemporary American TV-series. Commemorating the 125th birthday of Shakespeare translator Hans Rothe, Tobias Döring traces the German Shakespeare Society’s denunciation of Rothe’s oeuvre in Nazi Germany as well as in the early Federal Republic. In a concluding forum, German translators discuss the challenges of translating Shakespeare.

Sabine Schülting


Table of Contents


ARTicles: Translation

Translation from/into/in Culture (Shakespeare and the ‘Early Modern’) (Andreas Mahler)

“His word is more than the miraculous harp”: Übersetzung und Magie in The Tempest (Gabriela Schmidt)

Ein faustischer Pakt mit Shakespeare: Die Übertragung Shakespeare’scher Werkkomplexe in Thomas Manns Doktor Faustus (Norbert Greiner)

Adapting Hamlet in Colonial Hong Kong: Richard Ho’s Hamlet: Sword of Vengeance (Miriam Leung Che Lau)

Cross-Border Desires: on Shakespeare, Venus and Intercultural Challenges (Rui Carvalho Homem)

Souvenirs du Théâtre Anglais à Paris: Shakespeare, Translation, Performance (Karen Newman)

Beyond Words: Performing Translation in Ong Keng Sen’s Intercultural Lear Dreaming (Eleine Ng-Gagneux)

Intermediale Übersetzbarkeit: Shakespeares Nachreife im zeitgenössischen seriellen TV-Drama (Elisabeth Bronfen)

Höllenwut und Zaubermühn: Vom Streitwert des Übersetzens: Zum 125. Geburtstag von Hans Rothe (Tobias Döring)




Kleine Propädeutik eines Shakespeare-Übersetzers (Klaus Reichert)

Freiraum und Wortkulisse (Elisabeth Plessen)

Does this give life to thee? Und ist das Poesie? (Christa Schuenke)

“Der Text muss einen anderen Körper finden”: Heiner Müller über das Übersetzen von Shakespeare (Lawrence Guntner, Andrew McLean, mit B. K. Tragelehn)



Theatre Reviews

Shakespeare on the German Stages 2018/2019

(Edited by Norbert Greiner und Felix Sprang)

Instabile Herrscherfiguren im Norden: Zwischen nuanciertem Psychogramm und autoritärer Pose (Ute Berns, Stephan Karschay, Benjamin Kohlmann, Anca-Raluca Radu)

Abgefärbt: Othello am Berliner Ensemble: Wie die Mutter, so die Tochter? – Das Globe Ensemble Berlin spielt Romeo und Julia (Lukas Lammers, Jonas Kellermann)

Von Idealisten und Fatalisten: Shakespeares einsame Masken- und Machtspieler in NRW (Sarah Briest, Jan Mosch, Roland Weidle)

Von Applaus-O-Metern, Selbstmorden und falschen Helden: Theaterschau Österreich 2018/19 (Ludwig Schnauder)

Auftragswerke und Abschiedsinszenierung: Shakespeare auf der Basler und Zürcher Bühne (Johanna Schüpbach)

Verzeichnis der Shakespeare-Inszenierungen der Spielzeit 2017/2018 (Bettina Boecker, Marietta Wenning  und Johanna Stowasser)



Book Reviews

(Edited by Stephan Laqué und Lena Steveker)

Shakespeare BC

Virginia Mason Vaughan, Shakespeare and the Gods; Jonatan Bate, How the Classics Made Shakespeare (Lena Steveker)


Shakespeare and Gender Difference

Patricia Akhimie and Bernadette Andrea eds., Travel & Travail: Early Modern Women, English Drama, and the Wider World; Paige Martin Reynolds, Performing Shakespeare’s Women: Playing Dead (Kirsten Sandrock)


Shakespeare and Postcolonial Difference

Patricia Akhimie, Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World; Jyotsna G. Singh, Shakespeare and Postcolonial Theory (Cordula Lemke)



Eric Langley, Shakespeare’s Contagious Sympathies: Ill Communications (Gigi Adair)

Peter W. Marx, Hamlets Reise nach Deutschland: Eine Kulturgeschichte (Hansjürgen Blinn)

Lieke Stelling, Religious Conversion in Early Modern English Drama (Paul Edmondson)

Neil Forsyth, Shakespeare the Illusionist: Magic, Dreams, and the Supernatural on Film (Claude Fretz)

Jeffrey Kahan, Shakespeare and Superheroes (Rudolph Glitz)

Daniela Carpi and François Ost eds., As You Law It – Negotiating Shakespeare (Susanne Gruss)

Stephen Greenblatt, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics (Julián Jiménez Heffernan)

Tzachi Zamir ed., Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Philosophical Perspectives (Stephan Laqué)

Franziska Walter, Meisterhaftes Übersetzen: Stefan Georges Übersetzung der Sonette Shakespeares (Franziska Merklin)

Zeno Ackermann and Sabine Schülting, Precarious Figurations: Shylock on the German Stage, 1920–2010 (Emily Oliver)

Balz Engler, Constructing Shakespeares: Essays on the Making of a Great Author (Enno Ruge)

  1. Sofie Taubert, Die Szene des Wunderbaren: Die Shakespeare-Elfen im Wechselspiel von Musik und Maschine (Susanne Rupp)

Karoline Johanna Baumann, The Stage as Palimpsest: Conceptions of Time and Temporality in Shakespeare’s ‘Troilus and Cressida’ and ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ (Johannes Schlegel)

David Schalkwyk, Shakespeare, Love and Language (Felix Sprang)

Genevieve Love, Early Modern Theatre and the Figure of Disability (David Houston Wood)




Tätigkeitsbericht der Präsidentin (Frühjahr 2019) (Claudia Olk)

“Shakespeare und Übersetzung”: Shakespeare-Tage in Weimar, 26. – 28. April 2019 (Jonas Kellermann)

“Shakespeare and Translation”: Shakespeare Academy in Weimar, 25.-26. April 2019 (Emily Aline Anderson, Veruschka Haas)




Zum Gedenken an Robert Weimann (1928–2019)

Zum Gedenken an Wolfgang Weiß (1932–2019)

Von Shanghai bis Berlin – zum Tod des Weltbürgers und Shakespeare-Übersetzers Maik Hamburger (1931 – 2020)



Notes on Contributors






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