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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0205  Tuesday, 27 January 2004

[1]     From:   Alberto Cacicedo <
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        Date:   Monday, 26 Jan 2004 10:52:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

[2]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Mon, 26 Jan 2004 10:46:05 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alberto Cacicedo <
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Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 10:52:04 -0500
Subject: 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

An old but interesting book on the subject of "Moors" in Shakespeare's
England is Samuel Chew's _The Crescent and the Rose: Islam and England
During the Renaissance_ (Oxford, 1937). Chew distinguishes among "white
Moors," "tawny Moors," and "black Moors." As I recall, he also affirms
that there are records of purchases made by a theatrical company for
costumes that distinguish among the three varieties of Moor.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Mon, 26 Jan 2004 10:46:05 -0600
Subject: 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

Colin Cox writes,

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

Sorry, but I need a little more scholarly authority here. "Black" would
not necessarily mean black-skinned. Much more likely, it would refer to
someone black-haired -- as the number of people surnamed Black and Blake
indicates. The black Irish are not of Central African origin. And I
remember a line from an old ballad that goes, "Some say he's black but I
say he's bonny, my handsome, winsome Johnny." Or again, to take one of
many,

SHALLOW By the mass, I was called any thing; and I would
        have done any thing indeed too, and roundly too.
        There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire,
        and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and
        Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such
        swinge-bucklers in all the inns o' court again:

It seems to me that with the term "black moor "we're talking about a
redundancy used for emphasis, not something to give greater geographical
precision.

Cheers,
don

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