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The First Romanian Translations of Hamlet


University of Bucharest


Adopting a cultural approach to the study of translation, the present paper aims to explore the contextualization and recontextualization of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by means of translation in Romania, in the first half of the nineteenth century. The first part sets out to offer a comprehensive analysis of the Romanian cultural and historical context that saw the emergence and development of the prolific nineteenth century translation activity. In the second part of the paper, I undertake a close examination of the first two Romanian renderings of Hamlet: Ioan Barac’s
Amlet, Prinţul de la Dania. O tragodie in cinci perdele. După Şakespeer  and D.P. Economu’s Hamlet, principele Danemarcei; dramă in cinci acte şi optu părţi de la Shakespeare. My study focuses on the way in which the two translators rewrote Hamlet to make it comply with the Romanian dominant poetics and ideology of the time.

Keywords: William Shakespeare, Hamlet, drama translation, translation strategy, secondary translations, dominant poetics



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