This is part of a weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.
Citation and Link
A variety of nineteenth-century English and American texts evoke Shakespeare in descriptions of the ali’i nui, the high chiefs of Hawaii; these appropriations reveal the perspectives of haoles (Caucasian foreigners) on Hawaiian royalty and provide a point of departure for analyzing some provocative Shakespeare appropriations in the discourse of the royal Hawaiians themselves. Shakespeare allusions in texts by and about nineteenth-century Hawaiian monarchs illustrate the relationship between Hawaiian history and the English literary canon, demonstrating the ways in which the ali’i adapted European cultural commodities to indigenous uses. They also cast light on Hawaiian rulers’ attempts to negotiate the American presence in Hawaii, revealing Shakespeare’s place at the intersection of Hawaiian, British, and American cultural history.