Orientalism and Unfavourable Positioning in Shakespeare's ‘Antony and Cleopatra’
AbstractWith the rise of multiculturalism, of racial, ethnic, cultural, and national awareness in literary and historical criticism, literary and historical research on attitudes towards multiculturalism, non-English or non-European characters in literary works and their moral, ethnic, religious, cultural and national values, also gained a critical momentum. Moree than any other playwright it is Shakespearean texts that have got their share of such a criticalk point of view. Historical and cultural approaches to Shakespeare’s plays make this relatively new critical perspective crucial because race, ethnicity and oppression are said to be some of the central themes to almost all of his plays. Considering the role of discourse theory which suggests that language and language use not only communicate people’s social, cultural and mental realities but also create them, the study deals with the concepts of Orientalism and positioning in Antony and Cleopatra. The study argues that through an oriental discourse and unfavourable positioning Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra contains racial and cultural profiles, and perceptions created by these profiles and manipulation of these perceptions.
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