Shakespeare and the Second World War: Memory, Culture, Identity

Shakespeare and the Second World War: Memory, Culture, Identity

Weight 0.00 lbs
Edited by Irena R. Makaryk and Marissa McHugh
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2012
World Rights
352 Pages 34 Images
ISBN 9781442644021
Published Sep 2012
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442698383
Published Sep 2012
Full purchase $64.95

Shakespeare’s works occupy a prismatic and complex position in world culture: they straddle both the high and the low, the national and the foreign, literature and theatre. The Second World War presents a fascinating case study of this phenomenon: most, if not all, of its combatants have laid claim to Shakespeare and have called upon his work to convey their society’s self-image.

In wartime, such claims frequently brought to the fore a crisis of cultural identity and of competing ownership of this ‘universal’ author. Despite this, the role of Shakespeare during the Second World War has not yet been examined or documented in any depth. Shakespeare and the Second World War provides the first sustained international, collaborative incursion into this terrain. The essays demonstrate how the wide variety of ways in which Shakespeare has been recycled, reviewed, and reinterpreted from 1939–1945 are both illuminated by and continue to illuminate the War today.

Irena R. Makaryk is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa.

Marissa McHugh is an doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Ottawa.




Introduction: Shakespeare and the Second World War.  IRENA R. MAKARYK (University of Ottawa)

German Shakespeare, the Third Reich, and the War.  WERNER HABICHT (University of Würzburg)

Shakespearean Negotiations in the Perpetrator Society: German Productions of The Merchant of Venice during the Second World War.  ZENO ACKERMANN (Freie Universität Berlin)

Shylock, Palestine, and the Second World War.  MARK BAYER (University of Texas at San Antonio)

 “Caesar’s word against the world”: Mussolini’s Caesarism and Discourses of Empire.  NANCY ISENBERG (the Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

Shakespeare and Censorship during the Second World War: Othello in Occupied Greece. TINA KRONTIRIS (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

 “In This Hour of History: Amidst These Tragic Events”: Polish Shakespeare during the Second World War. KRYSTYNA KUJAWINSKA COURTNEY (University of Lodz)

Pasternak's Shakespeare in Wartime Russia.  ALEKSEI SEMENENKO (Stockholm University)

Shakespeare as an Icon of the Enemy Culture: Shakespeare in Wartime Japan, 1937-1945. RYUTA MINAMI (Shirayuri College)

“Warlike Noises”:  Jingoistic Hamlet during the Sino-Japanese Wars.  ALEX HUANG (Penn State University)

Shakespeare, Stratford, and the Second World War.  SIMON BARKER (University of Lincoln)

Rosalinds, Violas, and Other Sentimental Friendships: The Osiris Players and Shakespeare, 1939-45.  PETER BILLINGHAM (University of Winchester)

Maurice Evans’s “G.I. Hamlet”: Analogy, Authority and Adaptation.  ANNE RUSSELL (Wilfrid Laurier University)

The War at “Home”: Representations of Canada and of World War II in Star Crossed. MARISSA MCHUGH (University of Ottawa)

Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice in Auschwitz.  TIBOR EGERVARI (University of Ottawa)

Appropriating Shakespeare in Defeat:  Hamlet and the Contemporary Polish Vision of War. KATARZYNA KWAPISZ-WILLIAMS (University of ſódź)



‘One of those rare books that merges both literature and history in equal proportion, Shakespeare and the Second World War is a rich mine of information to scholars, writers, historians, literary aficionados, and all general lovers of knowledge.’

Oguntoyinbo Deji, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies vol 15:03:2014

‘Shakespeare and the Second World War is consistently fascinating and wide-ranging in scope.’

Garrett A. Sullivan Jr, Studies in English Language vol 53:02:2013