Youths and Political Allegory: Nader Omran’s A Theatre Company Found a Theatre and Theatred Hamlet
Keywords:Omran, Ophelia, MENA region, justice, Arab youths
This paper investigates Jordanian playwright Nader Omran’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It examines Omran’s dramatization of the struggle of Arab youths in a region ruled by corrupt leaders. In particular, the paper focuses on how Omran transforms Shakespeare’s Ophelia into an assertive and dynamic character to reflect the contemporaneous circumstances and conditions of the Arab World in A Theatre Company Found a Theatre and Theatred Hamlet (1984). In Omran’s adaptation, Ophelia’s suicide is an act of self-immolation which anticipates Tunisian fruit and vegetable vendor Mohammed Bouazizi’s act of burning himself in December 2010 since both acts awaken dormant hopes for change and trigger a process of transformation as an inevitable result of years of political oppression and marginalization. In this respect, Omran’s play anticipates and predicts recent Arab uprisings that were initiated and led by Arab youths in protest against years of social injustice and exclusion from the political life.
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