Political Shakespeare in Korea: from the early twentieth century to today

Cho, Dukhee (2018). Political Shakespeare in Korea: from the early twentieth century to today. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

[img] Cho18PhD.pdf
Text - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 12 June 2028.
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (5MB) | Request a copy


This thesis examines Korea’s reception of Shakespeare from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day, paying specific attention to the significant extent to which this reception has been influenced by the nation’s political circumstances. The thesis focuses on Korea’s political upheavals, including Japanese colonialism, the Korean War, the division of the country, dictatorship and rapid modernisation and Westernisation, which affected attitudes towards accepting, understanding and adapting Shakespeare and his works. My introduction explores how Korea has made Shakespeare its own, along with a theory of adaptation and appropriation. Chapter 1 considers Korea’s first encounter with Shakespeare in the early twentieth century via his biography, excerpted quotations in magazines and newspapers and translated Victorian-era presentations of his works, all of which focused on moral didacticism. Chapter 2 analyses two Shakespeare-inspired novels written under the political hardships of Japanese colonial rule and dictatorial governance. Chapter 3 addresses political renditions of Hamlet on the stage under the dictatorial regime. Chapter 4 investigates North Korea’s socialist reception of Shakespeare since the division of the country to today. Finally, Chapters 5 and 6 discuss culturally-invested adaptations of Shakespeare in the twenty-first century that put Shakespeare’s characters and stories in Korean locales. This thesis concludes by arguing that even though Shakespearean adaptations today focus mostly on creating culturally localised versions so that they can become less political, Korea’s reception of Shakespeare over the past century has been informed by many political motifs arising from artists’ concerns about the fate of their country.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8574


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year