Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 40
What impact has Shakespeare’s writing had on Indian theater? And, how has Indian theater shaped and altered Shakespeare’s work? Shakespeare’s interaction with India came, of course, in the context of India’s experience with British colonization and colonialism. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I gave a charter to the East India Company to trade with the shahs, emperors and Maratha princes who’d ruled the subcontinent for the previous century. Over the 150 years that followed, the East India Company transitioned from being merchant traders into a kind of quasi-government. After Indians rebelled in 1857, Queen Victoria closed down the East India Company and ruled India directly as a British colony. During the run-up to the rebellion, English had become India’s language of instruction. Among the Indian elite, you needed to know Shakespeare in order to appear truly educated. In this podcast episode, Barbara Bogaev interviews Jyotsna Singh, professor of English at Michigan State University, and Modhumita Roy, associate professor of English at Tufts. Listen on iTunes,Google Play, SoundCloud, or NPR One.