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Date Accessioned
Discipline/Department Theatre Program
University/Publisher University of Houston
Abstract Postcolonial studies of Early Modern English drama’s Moorish and Jewish characters, as elaborated by scholars such as Edward Said and Daniel Vitkus, have framed the discussion as a black (Moor/Jew) versus white (Protestant English) dichotomy. This Master’s thesis revises this binary to address certain “grey” characters which do not comfortably fit in either white or black camps yet occupy intriguing positions in Early Modern works. While much scholarly attention has been devoted to the cultural and racial backgrounds of Othello, Shylock, Jessica, and the Prince of Morocco, the focus on Moors and Jews in Othello and The Merchant of Venice has edged out another identity present in those and others of Shakespeare’s works: the Spaniard. Shakespeare’s Spanish characters are portrayed as debased outsiders (Iago, Roderigo) or as representatives of a threatening rival colonial power (Iago, the Prince of Aragorn). All of these characters are vilified through their iconoclastic Catholic faith, as well as their mixed race heritage due to the Moorish occupation of Spain. Meanwhile, Thomas Kyd further demonizes his Spanish characters in The Spanish Tragedy, making a historical argument which reflects onto the entire country. From the Spanish perspective, Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s El cisma de Inglaterra exemplifies how the Spanish perceived their English enemies. I survey how the development of Anglo-Spaniard politics in the Early Modern Period developed ideas concerning Spanish and English nationality.
Subjects/Keywords Spain; England; Shakespeare; Thomas Kyd; Calderon de la Barca; The Spanish Tragedy; Othello; The English Schism; Theatre
Contributors Kirk, Keith B. (advisor); Shimko, Robert B. (committee member); Christensen, Ann (committee member)
Language en
Rights The author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:10657/730
Repository houston
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2018-10-10
Note [department] Theatre Program;

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