Cover image for Shakespeare and race
Shakespeare and race
Alexander, Catherine M. S.
Publication Information:
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
ix, 233 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Surveying 'race' in Shakespeare / Margo Hendricks -- A portrait of a Moor / Bernard Harris -- Elizabethans and foreigners / G.K. Hunter -- 'Spanish' Othello: the making of Shakespeare's Moor / Barbara Everett -- Shakespeare and the living dramatist / Wole Soyinka -- Shakespeare in the trenches / Balz Engler -- Bowdler and Britannia: Shakespeare and the national libido / Michael Dobson -- 'Shakespur and the Jewbill' / James Shapiro -- Wilhelm S and Shylock / Laurence Lerner -- Cruelty, King Lear and the South African Land Act 1913 / Martin Orkin -- Caliban and Ariel write back / Jonathan Bate -- Casting Black actors: beyond Othellophilia / Celia R. Daileader -- 'Delicious traffick': racial and religious difference on early modern stages / Ania Loomba.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR3069.R33 S5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This volume draws together thirteen important essays on the concept of race in Shakespeare's drama. The authors, who themselves reflect racial and geographical diversity, explore issues of ethnography, politics, religion, identity, nationalism, and the distribution of power in Shakespeare's plays. They write from a variety of perspectives, drawing on Elizabethan and Jacobean historical studies and recent critical theory, attending to performances of the plays, as well as to the text. An introductory essay sets the context for the ensuing chapters, most of which are reprinted from volumes of Shakespeare Survey.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Reprinted from Shakespeare Survey, these essays are presented chronologically (1958-99) for the most part, to demonstrate the persistence of critical interest in Shakespeare's treatment of racial issues. The earliest studies, by Bernard Harris and G.K. Hunter, include a portrait of the Moorish ambassador to Elizabeth's court and provide historical accounts of England's racialized conceptions of Moors, Jews, Turks, Spaniards, Catholics, and "others." The contributors explore this Elizabethan context in essays examining Othello, Shylock, Caliban, and other foreign characters. Other essays point to Shakespeare's 18th-century revival: in England, his works were purged of "foreign" sexualities, considered ill-suited to a national icon. In the same period, the grotesque image of Shylock was invoked as political propaganda against English Jews, an image subsequently embraced by Nazis and acclaimed by modern Arabic writers. The most recent essays link early modern racial politics with "recent developments in global relations" and comment on the difficulties inherent in casting black actors in roles other than Othello. With illustrations and an introduction by Margo Hendricks (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz), this collection provides an interesting view of the issue over time and should interest students at all levels. F. K. Barasch emerita, Bernard M. Baruch College, CUNY

Table of Contents

1 Surveying `race¿ inShakespeare Margo Hendricks
2 A portrait of a MoorBernard Harris
3 Elizabethans and foreignersG. K. Hunter
4 `Spanish¿ Othello: the making ofShakespeare¿s Moor Barbara Everett
5 Shakespeare and the living dramatistWole Soyinka
6 Shakespeare in the trenchesBalz Engler
7 Bowdler and BritanniaMichael Dobson
8 Shakespur and theJewbill James Shapiro
9Wilhelm S and Shylock Laurence Lerner
10 Cruelty, King Lear and the South Africa Land Act 1913Martin Orkin
11 Caliban and Ariel write backJonathan Bate
12 Shakespeare and OthellophiliaCelia Daileader
13 `Delicious Traffick¿: Racial and religious difference on early modern stagesAnia Loomba