East meets West at Tiananmen Square : Does Lin Zhaohua's post-Tiananmen Hamlet catch the conscience of Beijing?

Název: East meets West at Tiananmen Square : Does Lin Zhaohua's post-Tiananmen Hamlet catch the conscience of Beijing?
Zdrojový dokument: Theory and Practice in English Studies. 2022, roč. 11, č. 1, s. 77-94
Rozsah
77-94
  • ISSN
    1805-0859 (online)
Type: Článek
Jazyk
 

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Abstrakt(y)
Prompted by the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacres, Chinese avant-garde director Lin Zhaohua directed China's first modern, avant-garde approach to Shakespeare's Hamlet, rejecting the Soviet-inspired standard of period pictorialism and "Westernization" of the Chinese actors. Through Lin's avant-gardist role-sharing between characters commonly perceived as opposites, such as Claudius and Hamlet, he strove to blur the perceived lines between moral opposites and wrestle with the complexities of truly understanding an event beset with conflicting accounts and mitigated by a strict governmental control of information. However, the control and flow of information was clearly not Lin's only concern with the events surrounding Tiananmen. He plainly saw within the unfolding of events in Hamlet the symbolic enactment of the same inevitability, espoused by political theorists, that led to the government's crackdown of protestors in Tiananmen. It is, therefore, through the lens of this inevitability that Lin's Hamlet must be understood, and through this reflexive reading of Lin's Hamlet, a greater understanding of the clouded Chinese perspective of the events that led up to the Tiananmen massacres can be attained. The production thus serves as not only a distinct break from the previous tradition of Chinese Shakespeare performance, but actively comments on the complexity of the socio-political context form which the production emerged, firmly situating Shakespeare not only as China's "contemporary" (à la Jan Kott), but as a vehicle for political discourse.