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“Europe Speaks Shakespeare”: Karin Beier’s 1996 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Multilingual Performance and the Myth of Shakespeare’s Linguistic Transcendence

  • Bettina Boecker
Chapter
Part of the Reproducing Shakespeare book series (RESH)

Abstract

This chapter explores the notion that the greatness of Shakespeare’s works is independent not only of English as the language in which they were originally written but also of language more generally: the myth of Shakespeare’s linguistic transcendence. Drawing on Karin Beier’s multilingual A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996), it analyses how this myth interacts (and sometimes conflicts) with the concept of Europe, especially with notions of a shared European heritage and the European Union’s irenic mission. While Beier’s Dream reflects the German enthusiasm for all things European—characteristic of the 1990s—some responses to the production also anticipate the populist/nationalist backlash the European idea faces today.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bettina Boecker
    • 1
  1. 1.Shakespeare-Forschungsbibliothek/Shakespeare Research Library, Department für Anglistik und AmerikanistikLudwig-Maximilans-UniversitätMunichGermany

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