oa Marang : Journal of Language and Literature - In their fathers house: resistant alterity and the law of the father in The Tempest, Othello and Titus Andronicus



The paper offers a reading of Shakespeares The Tempest, Othello and Titus Andronicus that sees the plays black characters as diasporic protagonists seeking alternative constructions of difference from those that are demanded by the dominant white patriarchal culture. The paper deploys two fairly well-known strategies for non-canonical readings of canonical texts. Firstly, the apocryphal approach offers an account of the significance of the fact that details of the origins of the black characters in the plays seem suppressed. Secondly, drawing on postcolonial discourse of the body, the paper reads the characters themselves as texts or spaces in which conflicting discourses can be written and read. I argue that reading the plays this way helps us to understand the struggles of diasporic characters as they attempt to inscribe their presence in the dominant cultures of the West and also to see in their struggles reflections of the trajectory of texts from marginalized communities in the era of global multinational capitalism.


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