'It is Germany where he truly lives': Nazi claims on Shakespearean drama

Heinrich, A. (2012) 'It is Germany where he truly lives': Nazi claims on Shakespearean drama. New Theatre Quarterly, 28(3), pp. 230-242. (doi: 10.1017/S0266464X12000425)




The fact that the Nazis tried to claim Shakespeare as a Germanic playwright has been well documented but recently theatre historians have claimed that their “success” was rather limited. Instead commentators have asserted that plays such as Othello, Antony and Cleopatra and The Merchant of Venice offended National Socialist precepts and were sidelined. This article attempts a re-evaluation and shows that the effect of the Nazi claims on Shakespeare was substantial, the amount of critical writing supporting these demands was significant, and the official efforts which went into putting these demands into practice were considerable. Crucially, it is also argued that the Nazis established a particular reading of Shakespeare which lasted well into the 1960s and dominated the aesthetic of West German productions of his drama.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Shakespeare in Nazi Germany, reception, Joseph Goebbels, Heinz Hilpert
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heinrich, Professor Anselm
Authors: Heinrich, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:New Theatre Quarterly
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Published Online:31 August 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in New Theatre Quarterly 28(3):230-242
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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