Is there such a thing as the original Shakespearean text? Can we think of it as Kant’s Ding an Sich, or should we be sceptical about its existence as an objective reality transcendent to our consciousness? Should we follow Wittgenstein’s path and question whether our ideas and the linguistic signifiers that represent them match the things in the lifeworld? And how can we praise the author of a text whose origins are questionable not only because it has always been available in different, simultaneous versions, but because, from the perspective of Derrida’s deconstruction, the question of origin is in itself problematic? What is the difference between translation and paraphrase? Is rewriting Shakespeare even possible, and if so, is it iconoclasm? In this paper, which draws on the ideas of Stanley Cavell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, I try to shed light on both theoretic and practical questions of translating and rewriting Shakespeare’s plays for the contemporary stage while sharing some of my personal experience and excerpts from the real performance texts.
How to cite:
Theatron 17, 2. sz. (2023): 3–21.
Cím/Title (ENG): Is Shakespeare rewritable?
Keywords: Shakespeare, Wittgenstein, translation, paraphrase, language philosophy