Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage
Routledge, 2008 - 174
Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage provides the first sustained reading of Restoration plays through a performance theory lens. This approach shows that an analysis of the conjoined performances of torture and race not only reveals the early modern interest in the nature of racial identity, but also how race was initially coded in a paradoxical fashion as both essentially fixed and socially constructed. An examination of scenes of torture provides the most effective way to unearth these seemingly contradictory representations of race because depictions of torture often interrogate the incongruous desire to substitute the visible and manipulable materiality of the body for the more illusive performative nature of identity. In turn, Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage challenges the long-standing assumption that early modern conceptions of race were radically different in their fluidity from post-Enlightenment ones by demonstrating how many of the debates we continue to have about the nature of racial identity were engendered by these seventeenth-century performances.
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While Dryden was clearly working from some historical sources such as New World accounts by Francisco Lopez de Gomara , Gonzalo de Tapia , Gonzalo de Umbria , Bernal Diaz del Castillo , and the letters of Cortez , he was also using ...
of this New World , Dryden makes “ his story , ” Montezuma's play , seem self - propelled and self - revealing . ... But the instability of the signification of the name Montezuma complicates Dryden's ability to inscribe the English ...
Colin Visser notes an interesting connection between Davenant's Interregnum pieces and Dryden's early Restoration plays . He speculates that when Dryden's company , the King's Company , was burned out of the Theatre Royal in 1672 and ...
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