news Monday, March 09, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | February 24, 2015 | 9.20 IST

Shakespeare’s characters were sometimes anti-Semitic, and a British actor says he often removes such portions when adapting them to the stage.

Mark Rylance, former artistic director at The Globe theatre, says some of Shakespeare’s characters were anti-Semiti, but that did not mean that the author also felt the same way. He told British news agency The Press Association: “I have to make the decision, do I include that or not? There are some very unfortunate antisemitic things that characters say.”

He added: “If a character says it, it doesn’t mean the author means it but since the Holocaust... these statements have a lot more resonance now than they did at that time.”

He says even back in Shakespeare’s own time and later, plays were edited in order to ensure that the audience’s sensibilities were not offended. He said that actors would be “chased out of town” if they did not keep this in mind.

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