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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
A Titus Tangent of Tone
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0058  Friday, 1 February 2008

From:		Sam Small <
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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?

Troubled.

SAM SMALL

PS No one is allowed to use the word "authentic" or any derivations thereof.

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