1st Edition

Shakespeare and Indian Nationalism The Bard and the Raj

By Manojit Mandal Copyright 2023
    240 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Shakespeare and Indian Nationalism aims to articulate the reception of Shakespeare by the 19th-century Indian intelligentsia from Bengal and their ambivalent approach to the Indian Renaissance and consequent nationalist project. Showcasing the cultural politics of British imperialism, this volume focuses on six early nationalist writers and their engagement with Shakespeare: Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar (1820–1891), Hemchandra Bandopadhay (1838–1903), Girishchandra Ghosh (1844–1912), Purnachandra Basu (1844–unknown), Iswarchandra Vidyasagar (1820–1891), Bankimchandra Chattopadhaya(1838–1894), and Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941). Drawing on Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony and a host of prominent writers of cultural politics, nationalism and Indian history, this interdisciplinary approach combines postcolonial studies and Shakespeare studies in an attempt to reconcile the existence of an unbridled admiration for an English cultural icon in India alongside the rise of nationalism and a fierce resistance to British rule. The book, finally, moves to re-explore Shakespeare's position in academic, political, and popular nationalist discourses in postcolonial India.

    1. Introduction: Beginning of Shakespeare Study in India
    2. Imperfect Interfaces: Vidyasagar, Hemchandra, Girishchandra, and Their Shakespeare
    3. Raging the Storm: Bankimchandra, Rabindranath, and The Tempest
    4. Murders in Shakespeare: Othello and a Forgotten Native
    5. Weight of this sad time…: King Lear and the Fear of the Raj?
    6. And the Bard Raj continues…: Nationalism, Shakespeare, and Postcolonial India


    Manojit Mandal is a Professor of English at Jadavpur University and at present the Chair of the department. He has published several articles in various national/international journals and books in the fields of Shakespeare, postcolonial theory, Shakespeare in Bengal, Tagore, and disability studies. He has published two books in the area of disability studies and higher education in India. He is also the Joint Coordinator, Centre for Studies in Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, JU, and is the Principal Investigator on two UGC-RUSAII projects on Tagore, transnationalism, and global south.