At sea, in text, and on stage: Islam and Muslims in Early Modern English drama

Shah, Nabila H B (2015). At sea, in text, and on stage: Islam and Muslims in Early Modern English drama. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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This thesis considers the portrayal of Islam and Muslims in Early Modern English drama. It begins with an analysis of the various types of relations that existed between the English and the Muslims of the day, particularly the Ottoman Turks and the North African Moors. Relations existed across almost all social groups, leading to a contradictory way of perceiving the Islamic world. Muslims were admired and envied for their superior wealth and spectacular exoticism; yet, were also vilified as followers of a deadly rival faith. Such ambiguity is reflected in the drama of the time and to demonstrate this, four specific plays, \(Tamburlaine\) \(The\) \(Great\) \(Parts\) \(I\) and \(II\), \(A\) \(Christian\) \(Turned\) \(Turk\), \(The\) \(Tragedy\) \(of\) \(Othello\): \(The\) \(Noble\) \(Moor\) \(of\) \(Venice\), and \(The\) \(Renegado\), are compared and evaluated by studying their depictions of Islam and Muslims. The plays all share a number of common themes, with the most pertinent being the fear of English Christians ‘turning Turk’ or converting to Islam. Each play offers its own unique take on this phenomenon. Finally, the discussion is modernised when it is shown that the key worries which plagued the Early Modern mind are in fact, the same that plague thinkers today.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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