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 collapse of cultural , religious , and racial categories during the torture scene as Dryden's construction of a disturbingly unheroic moment . In some strange way , only this scene of horrific torture could erase all of the ...
Critics have read Dryden's addition of a cross - cultural love plot in various ways . Laura Brown , for example , comments on the need for weak women in early modern depictions of colonial expansion . 16 Heidi Hutner writes about ...
means an acknowledgement and acceptance of larger cultural - historical narratives that have contributed to the derealization of the Other : it means actively connecting seemingly disparate points in a cultural - historical arc .
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