The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0058 Friday, 1 February 2008
Date: Friday, 1 Feb 2008 12:35:34 -0000
Subject: A Titus Tangent of Tone
Off on a tangent from the current discussion of Titus leads me to ask
this. Does Aaron have to be black? Of the versions I have seen the
director slavishly casts the ebullient Aaron as black as treacle. Is
this not masked racism? Did not the sight of a black face in Elizabethan
times mean foreign? other-continental? alien? plainly, a threat? Far be
it from me to be politically correct but didn't Shakespeare use the
contemporary prejudice that the audience would have been smitten and lay
it on with a trowel? Apart from the few lines (that could be
altered/removed) that refer to Aaron's skin tone why couldn't a white
man play the part? My point is - do we have to project Elizabethan
racism on a modern, unsuspecting audience?
PS No one is allowed to use the word "authentic" or any derivations thereof.
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