The History of Translation of Shakespeare in Georgia

Convenor: Dr David Maziashvili (Georgian Programme Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford)

Speaker: Dr Manana Gelashvili (Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilsi State University)

The seminar will trace the history of translating Shakespeare’s works into Georgian and its impact on the development of the theatre. The aim is to explore different stages of the process, particularly during the twentieth century when the subversive potential of Shakespeare’s text, which Soviet ideology could not ban and control, became a mouthpiece for freedom.

Recently, after a period of standstill followed by the break-up of the Soviet Union, a number of new translators and translations emerged partly due to theatres’ demand for new translations. Shakespeare is one of the most often staged authors in Georgia.

The seminar will analyse the characteristic features of the translations belonging to different epochs to reveal what development has taken place in methodology, objectives and quality during the past two centuries.


Manana Gelashvili is a Professor of English and head of the Institute of Western European Languages and Literature and the Center for Shakespeare Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia. She is the author of more than a hundred works among them three monographs. Her research interests include Shakespeare’s perception by Romanticism and Modernism, the problem of time in Modernist Literature, English Romantic Poetry. Her latest work Chronotope in Modernist Literature was published in 2018. She has edited three books of Collected Essays on Shakespeare (a copy of two of them is in the Bodleian Library).