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Title: Restoration Orientalism : the representation of the Turk in serious drama
Author: Saab, H.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1999
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This dissertation examines the complex representation of the Orient, the Turk in particular, in Restoration serious drama, as embodying new English attitudes and perceptions of the "Other". This study builds both on "conventional" notions established by Renaissance discourses on the Orient and on assumptions, identifying polar characteristics of East and West, described in Said's Orientalism. I argue that "otherness" was gradually undermined in Restoration drama, in which the Turk ceased to be represented as the diabolic Other. The first chapter defines my theoretical approach which is largely informed by the study of historical contexts: the dynamic military, religious, political, and economic encounters between Europe and the Levant. I thus offer a quick review of occurrences of the generally stereotyped Turk depicted in Renaissance literature. In the second chapter I throw light on the Ottoman decline during the seventeenth century and its effect on English attitudes towards the Turk in Restoration literature. The increasing diplomatic and commercial relations are found to have contributed to the emerging familiarity of the Other. The third chapter explores the dominant theatrical form in the Restoration, the heroic genre, which is closely associated with the exotic and provides a novel representation of the Oriental world. Chapter four focuses on Davenant's pioneering heroic play, The Siege of Rhodes (1656 and 1661), and its ambivalent, dual representation of the Turk as both Other and similar. Chapters five and six are devoted to the discussion of other Oriental heroic plays, such as Roger Boyle's Mustapha (1665) and Mary Pix's Ibrahim (1696), which combine conventional and heroic tropes in their representational modes. Finally, Chapter seven is concerned with a group of plays mainly representing the Orient as humanised and similar to the European and hence symbolising a completed stage in, what I argue, is a process of cultural assimilation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available