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 play , and , I imagine , the performance of it , emphasizes Harman Junior's unwillingness to see Ysabinda's fairness as stemming from his ( and the Dutch's ) gross mercantilism : his interest in trade and profit racializes him and ...
Dryden links the Dutch interest in trade with a gluttonous hedonism , senseless cruelty , and a desire to convert the world into a race of their doubles . This racialization of the Dutch , however , does not occur in essentialist terms ...
23 In both of these texts the Dutch interest in trade makes them un - Christian and akin to religious and racialized others . Again , this difference is not expressed in essentialist terms ; rather , the rhetoric of race is fashioned in ...
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