Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Heather A. Hirschfeld

Committee Members

Robert Stillman, Anthony Welch


The works of William Shakespeare are wide and universal. His work has been and is still consistently performed in numerous countries and venues across the globe. This thesis focuses on two performances of Titus Andronicus, one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays, in South Africa. One performance, directed by Dieter Reible in 1970, was produced during apartheid. The second, directed by Gregory Doran, was performed in 1995, just after the end of apartheid. These performances of Titus not only show the versatility and universality of Shakespeare’s work, but the complexity of audience reception and directorial intention in different political landscapes. First, this thesis explores South Africa’s own history with violence, race, gender, and power. Then, it discusses how these themes permeate the text of Titus and then how they relate to the South African performances of Titus Andronicus in 1970 and 1995.

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