n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - Hybridity, Othello and the postcolonial critics
|Article Title||Hybridity, Othello and the postcolonial critics|
|© Publisher:||Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)|
|Journal||Shakespeare in Southern Africa|
|Publication Date||Jan 2009|
|Pages||23 - 29|
At least since Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks was published in 1952, the postcolonial subject has been defined in relation to split subjectivity, hybridity and alienation. Academics and writers almost routinely invoke two ur-texts in order to discuss something of the problematics surrounding colonisation and the negotiation of race and Otherness : Shakespeare's The Tempest and Othello. In the case of Othello, there is often a visceral reaction to the black character on stage, a dislocating shock of recognition : thus for Ben Okri, it becomes possible to imagine himself in Othello's place, Othered as much by the Venetian social context that the narrative describes as by the play's own potentially racist symbolic. For Caryl Phillips, a personal comparison with Othello, both intimately inserted into and simultaneously alienated from the turbulent cosmopolitan centre of Early Modern Venice, is almost inescapable.
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