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Hamlet's Arab JourneyShakespeare's Prince and Nasser's Ghost$
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Margaret Litvin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691137803

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691137803.001.0001

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Nasser’s Dramatic Imagination, 1952–64

Nasser’s Dramatic Imagination, 1952–64

(p.35) 2 Nasser’s Dramatic Imagination, 1952–64
Hamlet's Arab Journey

Margaret Litvin

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains that much of what matters for Arab Hamlet appropriation in the postcolonial period—the international sources, the way they were absorbed, and the concerns they help express—was shaped by the legacy of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser's geopolitical and cultural priorities made a range of Hamlets available and conditioned how intellectuals received them. Beyond this, from the moment in 1954 when he declared to his people, “All of you are Gamal Abdel Nasser,” the Egyptian leader personally embodied his country's identity and acted out its drama of historical agency. Beyond Egypt's borders, he became (like his radio station) “the voice of the Arabs.”

Keywords:   Gamal Abdel Nasser, modern Arab identity, legacy, Shakespeare adaptations, Arab Hamlet, postcolonial period

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