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Word Count: 587
In her essay Shakespeare in the Bush Laura Bohannan attempts to illustrate whether there is a universal understanding through her experience of sharing Hamlet with the Tiv in West Africa Throughout the story the Tiv object to some of its details however overall they are able to understand Hamlet a very English play Different cultural backgrounds not only make the Tiv and Bohannan have very different interpretations of Hamlet but also the general ideas of life and death The essay is very much developed around their simple and abstracted relationship between the Tiv and Bohannan In her opening paragraph Bohannan implies a very direct and assumptive relationship of herself and the Tiv Using a sharp comparison left Oxford for the Tiv in West Africa 300 Bohannan implies that she is from an educated background and the Tiv are not In addition Bohannan goes to Africa to conduct her study on the Tiv An unequal relationship becomes clear However when she gets there the Tiv treat her well and see her as their friend as they invite her to drink beer and to share stories The Tiv do not feel intimidated by the superior western culture At first Bohannan thinks that human nature is pretty much the same the whole wide world over 300 She assumes that all human nature including her own culture and the Tiv is the same She seeks to prove that even a story like Hamlet can be universally interpreted One need not be from England or another Western country to understand Shakespeare However after exposing the Tiv to Hamlet the interpretation regarded as universal and correct interpretation falls short when placed in the context of other cultures Although the Tiv share in the belief that people are the same all over the world both the Tiv and Bohannan assume that all people are like them For example The Tiv were shocked at the fact
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