Tom Stoppard Dogg's... & Cahoot's...

by Tom Stoppard

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Stoppard devoted Cahoot's Macbeth to his Czechoslovakian friend, Pavel Kohout, whose own plays were censored during the 1970s. Read one of Kohout's censored plays, and compare it to Cahoot's Macbeth, paying particular attention to how each play acts as political commentary.

Choose another era in history when a region experienced literary censorship for political reasons. Research the history and outcome of this dispute, and write a short biography about one of the literary leaders who was censored.

Research the history behind Czechoslovakia's split into the Czech and Slovak Republics. How did both cultures react to this political divide? Compare the two cultures as they exist today, paying particular attention to any artistic and political issues.

Trace the history of communism back to its origins. Using your research, create a timeline that details the major events in the history of communism, and explain how these events affected the world at large.

In the play, Stoppard creates an entirely new language, Dogg, which is derived from English words that have different meanings. Stoppard gives most of the English translations for the words in brackets throughout both plays. Using these, and any other sources mentioned in the play—such as the lyrics to the song "My Way''— create a Dogg-English phrasebook. Include a short introductory page that talks about any common patterns you find between the two languages.

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