Translated Plays as a Force for Social Justice

  • Rachod Nusen Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, Thailand
  • Kamron Gunatilaka Independent scholar, Thailand
Keywords: translated plays, justice, social justice, literary criticism


During the current political crisis in Thailand, people hold various political standpoints. Despite these different stances, the goal for many of these differences remains the same, namely, a just society. The research Translated Plays as a Force for Social Justice is an attempt to advocate the role of literature in creating social justice. The purpose of the research is to study issues of social justice in translated plays and to suggest ways in which the Thai academic community and Thai society can use plays to advocate social justice. This research studies translations of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Bertolt Brecht’s Der gute Mensch von Sezuan, Jean Anouilh’s Antigone and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The study finds that these plays pose challenging questions which help raise an awareness of the importance of social justice. Critics and theatre practitioners in the West have created a number of works on these plays that help advance social justice. Nonetheless, the issues of social justice in these plays are often ignored by Thai critics and theater practitioners and, because of this, some of them unintentionally offer an interpretation or a production, which is not in line with the concept of social justice.