The three plays I will consider in this chapter—Othello, The Merchant ofVenice,andThe Taming ofthe Shrew—have all been considered so politically incendiary in their representation of race, ethnicity, and gender that some theatre practitioners now refuse to stage them at all. Each play represents, it is argued, a normative early modern perspective which has played a part in the perpetuation of stereotypes, disempowerment, and injustice in ways which have had real and damaging consequences for the world outside the theatre both for individuals and for society as a whole. One of them, The Merchant of Venice, might even be called a contributor to the culture which produced a genocide. Even if we can escape the plays’ historical associations, some say they contain ideas and assumptions which are offensive. As such they have no place on the contemporary stage and—regardless of their other laudable qualities—should be consigned to the trash bin of history.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Identity Politics and the Stage
Andrew James Hartley
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number