Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism

Ania Loomba, Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Summary from the Publisher:

Did Shakespeare and his contemporaries think at all in terms of “race”? Examining the depiction of cultural, religious, and ethnic difference in Shakespeare’s plays, Ania Loomba considers how seventeenth-century ideas differed from the later ideologies of “race” that emerged during colonialism, as well as from older ideas about barbarism, blackness, and religious difference. Accessible yet nuanced analysis of the plays explores how Shakespeare’s ideas of race were shaped by beliefs about color, religion, nationality, class, money and gender.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Race and Colonialism in the Study of Shakespeare
1: The Vocabularies of Race
2: Religion, Colour, and Racial Difference
3: Wilderness and Civilization in Titus Andronicus
4: Othello and the Racial Question
5: The Imperial Romance of Antony and Cleopatra
6: Religion, Money, and Race in The Merchant of Venice
Conclusion: Playing with Shakespeare
Suggestions for Further Reading

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