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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: July ::
Shakespeare and Islam
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0657  Thursday, 13 July 2006

[1] 	From: 	V. K. Ingram <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 12 Jul 2006 19:08:45 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0649 Shakespeare and Islam

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 12 Jul 2006 19:51:12 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0649 Shakespeare and Islam


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		V. K. Ingram <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 12 Jul 2006 19:08:45 -0400
Subject: 17.0649 Shakespeare and Islam
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0649 Shakespeare and Islam

Cary DiPietro wrote:

 >If
 >the method of conquest and conversion employed by the " barbarous Turks"
 >are [were?] as frightening and threatening to the safety of the rest of
 >the world and her citizens [as they are today?], this and other factors
 >must have fueled a passionate interest in Islam...This must have been
 >the dilemma Shakespeare and even other writers such as the Elizabethan
 >and Jacobean dramatists had to face... Islam, which is linked with the
 >rise and dominance of the Ottoman Empire at that period must have
 >sparked a global interest, especially when that part of the world
 >remained threatened by this unfamiliar enemy.'

Your thinking is so 'modern' it is surprising you quote the post-moderns 
so well. Try seeing Titus through other than the Eurocentric 
'meta-narrative.' Or, just for an exercise, suppose that there were a 
Muslim equivalent of the Bnai Brith, consider what they would have to 
say about Titus, Othello and any other 'Moor' such as the one in the 
Merchant of Venice.

V K Ingram (AKA V. K. Inman)

See also: Steven F. Kruger _The Spectral Jew_ 2006 and Dorothee 
Metlitzki _The Matter of Araby in Medieval England_ 1977.

Much of what you are thinking about has already been discussed. Try 
interacting with what has already been suggested.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 12 Jul 2006 19:51:12 -0400
Subject: 17.0649 Shakespeare and Islam
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0649 Shakespeare and Islam

 >I find it hard not to see the rich texture of classical allusion in
 >Aaron's language, his 'barbaric' predilection for violence and
 >his opportunistic Machiavellianism as also indicative of early
 >modern English literary representations of the 'infidel' Moors.

Everyone in Titus, with the sole exception of the Christian clown, is an 
infidel by Elizabethan standards; and almost everyone (villain and hero 
alike) is barbaric and extraordinarily violent.  It is hard to draw a 
conclusion that Shakespeare (or Peele) was dramatizing a popular 
prejudice against moors without also concluding that he must have also 
been making use of a common prejudice against Romans or Goths.  Of 
course, nothing in the play can say anything about Islam.  Aaron (while 
a moor), could not have been a Muslim since that religion was not 
established for another two or three centuries.

By the way, I rather enjoyed the Titus at the Globe.

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