chapter  5
Violence and philosophy: Nathaniel Merriman, A.W.Schlegel and Jack Cade
Pages 18

The role of Shakespeare in the expansion of both the British and American empires has been the subject of critical reflection in recent years, and Western philosophy too has increasingly been read in colonial and neocolonial frames. Of Shakespeare’s global dissemination, for example, Ngugi wa Thiong’o concedes the power of King Lear and Julius Caesar, but nonetheless insists:

The humanistic side of European literature reflects of course the democratic struggles of the European people. But given the domination of the West over the rest of the world through such repressive historical moments as the slave trade and slavery, colonialism and currently neo-colonialism, this literature tends to opt for silence or ambivalence or downright collaboration.