Abstract

This article discusses the play Yasser, a recent adaptation of The Merchant of Venice by Abdelkader Benali. Benali is a new voice in Shakespearean studies and his play builds from growing interest in Shakespeare and the Arab world. Yasser opens with the young Palestinian actor, Yasser Mansour, about to go on stage as Shylock. However, Yasser has lost a crucial piece of his costume, a prosthetic nose, and this loss prompts him to connect to Shylock's character on a new level. At first, Yasser cannot imagine identifying with Shylock since the character represents the cultural group currently opposing Palestine. Yet, as the play develops, Yasser realizes the persecution he has faced in the West as a Palestinian immigrant allows him a better understanding of Shylock than perhaps anyone else.

Keywords

Benali,Shakespeare,Cultural conflict,Diaspora,Yasser,Shylock,Adaptation,Palestine,Israel,Identity

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-1427
Print ISSN
0748-2558
Pages
pp. 213-232
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-06
Open Access
No
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