According to Today in Literature’s website, 400 years ago today, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet “was performed on board the merchant ship “Red Dragon,” anchored off the coast of Sierra Leone. Scholars regard this amateur, one-show-only production by the ship’s crew as the first staging of a Shakespearean play outside of Europe, one that predates any New World Hamlet by about 150 years. Even if all went “trippingly on the tongue,” it is anyone’s guess what sense the bard’s most puzzling play could have made to the four local chiefs who attended the premiere — with filed teeth, nose rings, tattoos in the shape of exotic animals, and no English.” (Some things don’t change; this sounds like your average freshman literature class!)
The rest of this interesting article can be read here.
Thanks to Coudal Partners.