Hill of Fools: a South African Romeo and Juliet?

Wright, L.S. (2004) Hill of Fools: a South African Romeo and Juliet? English in Africa, 31 (2). pp. 73-88. ISSN 0376-8902




What kind of debt does Hill of Fools owe to Shakespeare? Look up ‘Peteni’ in the Companion to South African English Literature (1986) and you will be told that Hill of Fools is “loosely based on the story of Romeo and Juliet” (155). Scan the first newspaper reviews (see “The Early Reception of Hill of Fools” in this volume) and it is noticeable that a great many journalists focus on the Shakespeare connection as a means of introducing the book to their readers. One of the publisher’s readers, Henry Chakava, urged before publication that once all references to tribe or tribalism had been excised “the result will be a Romeo and Juliet type story much more superior to Weep Not Child.” The author himself reportedly described the book as “a black Romeo and Juliet drama” (Tribune Reporter 1988). And, indeed, some kind of parallel is patent to anyone who reads Hill of Fools with Shakespeare’s play in mind.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Professor Laurence Wright is Director and Head of the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA), Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords:R.L. Peteni; Hill of Fools; Wang Sfifu; Romance of the Western Bower; J.J.R. Jolobe; Thuthula; Shakespeare; Romeo and Juliet; Bessie Head; 'The Lovers'; Can Themba; Mob 'Passion'; A.C. Jordan; The Wrath of the Ancestors; Ingqumbo Yeminyanya; Sol Plaatje; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)
ID Code:1110
Deposited By: Prof Laurence Wright
Deposited On:30 Sep 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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