William Shakespeare in the Croatian Drama until the Postmodern Period

Helena Brautović


This paper gives an overview of the very beginnings of Shakespeare in the Croatian drama until the postmodernism period. Shakespeare's plays began to be performed in Croatia in the late 18th century when German theatrical troupes performed Shakespeare's localized dramas, but theatre audience could still not grasp the true size of Shakespeare plays by watching the adaptations. In the late 18th century Shakespeare started to be translated into Croatian thanks to two priests: Ivan Krizmanić and Antun Kazali. These translations have a high cultural and historical value, but are also important for the future reception of Shakespeare in Croatia as they hide a roadmap and valuable help for its future translators and interpreters. In the mid 19th century Shakespeare started to be deliberately exploited for the first time in the Croatian literature as intertext for the purposes of creating a national drama that would trigger patriotic feelings. In the beginning, the borrowings were discreet and occasional but Stjepan Miletić, in an innovative and open manner, started using Shakespeare in his own works. After Miletić era, a period of poor interest in Shakespeare performance set in. Few literary-drama attempts to insert Shakespeare's elements into own plays were mostly unnoticed either because of questionable quality of the dramas themselves or because of the upcoming nightmarish war and post-war years that generated the structure of the Croatian drama in which Shakespeare's dominant themes did not fit in. However, the period of postmodernism in Croatia used Shakespeare as intertext in creating post-modern Croatian drama.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n9p399

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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