The concept of New Asia is based on the belief that global capitalism has displaced the boundary between the First and Third worlds, redrawing the world map according to the distribution of capital. This essay examines the implication of interculturalism in New Asia and ultimately the relationship between West and East, focusing on Lee Yountaek's production of Hamlet that premiered in Seoul in 1996. The analysis of Lee's Hamlet in the context of Korean history showcases the dilemma and delusion of intercultural theatre in New Asia, whose political independence and economic growth allow only a passive postcolonial resistance to Western cultural hegemony that is subsumed by a desire to elevate the cultural status of Asia in the West without denying or resisting Western culture. Lee Yountaek's Shakespeare reflects the impasse of contemporary Korean society, whose postcolonial reality is obscured by an optimistic idea of interculturalism.


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pp. 257-276
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