Shakespeare and Intellectual Castration in the Arab World: Hamlet as a Detached Arab Intellectual in Jawad Al-Assadi's Forget Hamlet

Adaptation Shakespeare's Hamlet Arab Intellectuals Crisis Arab World


  • Ziad Abushalha
    PhD Candidate at the Department of Comparative Literature, Szeged University, Hungary
January 31, 2022


This study aims at investigating the crises of the Arab intellectuals under the policies of some Arab regimes. It analyses Jawad Al-Assadi's Forget Hamlet as an example of this political oppression that targeted Arab intellectuals in the Ba'athy Iraq, headed by Sadam Hussien. The study discusses the theme of the neutral Arab intellectual who kept a silent position in a time of political crisis. It traces how Hamlet in this adaptation was dramatized as a hapless and inactive intellectual to mock those Iraqi intellectuals, in particular, and Arab intellectuals, in general, who succumbed to power and avoided speaking truth to the oppressive regimes. After analyzing the scope of intellectualism in the play, the study discusses how Hamlet became a signifier to reflect the Arab intellectual crises in a time of political oppression.