Orientalism and Unfavourable Positioning in Shakespeare's ‘Antony and Cleopatra’


  • Fehmi Turgut Karadeniz Technical University


With 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.

Author Biography

Fehmi Turgut, Karadeniz Technical University

English Language and Literature


Harre, Rom and Moghaddam, Fathali. eds., The Self and Others: Positioning Individuals and Groups in Personal, Political and Cultural Contexts. Westpoint: Praeger Publishers, 2003, Print.

Harré, Rom and Van Langenhove, Luk (Eds). Positioning Theory: Moral Contexts of Intentional Action. Malden: Blackwell, 1999. Print
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Patheon, 1978. Print

Yeğenoğlu, Melda. Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.Print
Kidwai, A. Raheem. Literary Orientalism: A Companion. New Delhi: Viva, 2009. Print

Baldson, John. Romans and Aliens. Chapel Hill: University of North Caroline Press, 1979. Print.

Cartledge, Paul A. The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Print.

O’Toole, Emer. Shakespeare, universal? No, it’s cultural imperialism. Guardian, 5.1.2012. Print

Burstein, Stanley. The Reign of Cleopatra. London: Greenwood Press, 2004. Print.

Steegmuller, Francis, Trans. and ed. Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour. Chicago: Academy Chicago Ltd., 1979. Print.

Rowse, Alfred. L., ed. The Annotated Shakespeare, Vol.III, New York: Clarkson Potter, 1978. Print

Mabillard, Amanda, Shakespeare’s Sources for Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare Online, http://www.shakespeareonline.com/sources/coriolanussources. html., 2000. Web.

North, Thomas. Plutarch: Lives of The Noble Greeks and the Noble Greeks andRomans, inJamesWinny, ed. Elizabethan Prose Translation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1579. 46-58. Print.

Frye, Northrop (1987), Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays, Taipei: Bookman, 1987. Print.

Oates, Joyce Carol. The Tragedy of Imagination: Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. http://celestialtimepiece.com/2015/01/27/the-tragedy-of-imagination-shakespeares-antony-and-cleopatra/, 1964. Web.

Bethan, Benwell and Stokoe, Elizabeth. Discourse and Identity, Edinburg: Edinburg University Press, 2006. Print.

Kinsley, Michael. Discrimination We Are Afraid To Be Against. In Amitai Etzioni and Jason H. Marsh eds., Rights vs. Public Safety After 9/11. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2003. 53-55. Print.




How to Cite

Turgut, F. (2014). Orientalism and Unfavourable Positioning in Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra’. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 2(3). Retrieved from https://nalans.com/index.php/nalans/article/view/12