Denmark’s a Prison: Appropriating Modern Myths of Hamlet After 1989 in Lin Zhaohua’s Hamulaite and Jan Klata’s H.
The chapter argues that Hamlet lends itself to mythologizing as Shakespeare’s most frequently adapted text which explores what it is “to be” in the modern age. Vickers Walkling examines two region-specific case studies, Lin Zhaohua’s Hamulaite (China, 1990) and Jan Klata’s H. (Poland, 2004), focusing on how Hamlet has been appropriated into analogous socio-cultural realms by late twentieth and early twenty-first-century experimental theatre directors to speak back to the experiences of a specific time: 1989. Through reconfiguring Shakespeare’s tragedy, Lin and Klata struggled with the ideological voids left in their societies as their leaders flirted with the free market economy. Both reconstructed “Elsinore” for the New Millennium, engaging with and subverting myths of Hamlet and their nations’ recent histories as part of this process.
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