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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0193  Monday, 26 January 2004

From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Jan 2004 11:40:42 -0800
Subject: 15.0179 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0179 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

Joachim Martillo comments:

"Moro in contemporary Spanish and Moor in Elizabethan English mean Arab
or Berber and would not normally refer to a Black African."

Moro indeed refers to Arab or Berber and thus 'black'Moro refers to
central Africa around the old Congo.

"I must also wonder whether Elizabeth I might have been trying to expel
Gypsies, who were often confused with Arabs or Moors."

Gypsies were persecuted for a long time in England (actually, well into
the twentieth century) and were quite often deported for a myriad of
perceived crimes committed. Also, so were the Flemish and the Dutch and
of course the Jews had been persona non grata since Edward I. I think
Mr. Lawrence is far too forgiving of Elizabethan xenophobia.

Colin Cox
Artistic Director
Will & Company

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