Harmonization and Intertextuality in Translating Shakespeare’s Sonnets into Metrical Arabic Poetry

Nabil Alawi's picture
Niveen Aziz Muhammed Tinah

For centuries, sonnet translation has become the interest of many scholars and researchers, and they have brought many strategies and methods to theorize the process of sonnet translation. However, the existing translations of sonnets do not have the aesthetic value of the source texts, and that by using certain techniques; the translator can render a better translation. This thesis demonstrates the importance of harmonization and intertextuality as by-techniques in rendering metrical translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets by examining Bader Tawfieq’s translations of sonnets 18, 91 and 141. The analysis of Tawfieq’s translation is based on Harmonization and Intertextuality of prosodic features, lexical choice and word order, as well as figurative language including metaphor and personification. The dissertation combines Hatim and Mason’s (1990) approach of intertextuality, Abu Dieb’s (2012) idea of harmonization, and Newmark’s (1988) seven strategies in translating metaphors. And the researcher coins four patterns to harmonize the intertextual references of Shakespeare; literal production, simiproduction, alter-production and deproduction. At the end of the dissertation, the researcher concludes that it is very important for poetry translators to have enough knowledge about the intertextual places in the two languages, and that this knowledge contributes to solve the problem of sonnet translation, and helps the translator to choose better or more appropriate words and structures in his/her translation. And that such knowledge serves to translate Shakespeare's prosodic features, his dedicative lexical choice and word order, as well as Shakespeare’s figurative language by harmonizing the intertextual signs into Arabic. So the translator produces a target text (TT) of aesthetic value that is not less than the aesthetic values of the source text (ST).

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