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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The Spanish , thereby , were not heroic conquistadors , but fortunate opportunists . Augmenting this line of criticism , I want to highlight how Davenant racializes not only the Indians , but also the Spanish .
While it would be horrific to depict the Spanish torturing and eating the Indians , it is not enough to emphasize their complete loss of civility . By placing English bodies next to Indians on the “ Engines of torment , ” Davenant ...
“ YOUR PRACTIC'D WIT ” The Indian Emperour's depiction of the materiality of the Spanish conquest of the New World through the onstage depiction of the torture of the Indians serves both to highlight and deconstruct the significance of ...
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Religion Color and the White
Abjection and Racial Characterization
The Indian Emperour or The Conquest
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