By Jonathan Burton
Bringing jointly English, Ottoman, and North African assets to stipulate the discourse on Muslims, "Traffic and Turning" bargains a longer dialogue of the theater and its position during this discourse, whereas offering very important methodological and theoretical theses with reference to the research of cross-cultural encounters in early glossy England. instead of easily cataloguing cases of Turkish the Aristocracy or villainy within the drama of the interval, "Traffic and Turning" attracts jointly various dramatic texts, either popular and comparatively vague, spanning public in addition to inner most performances, formal theater in addition to highway leisure, to illustrate a posh and compelling trend of engagement with and illustration of Muslims in over sixty dramatic works produced in England among 1579 and 1624. Burton argues that for an English viewers more and more drawn into advertisement site visitors with Muslims, the difficulty was once find out how to flip to the Turks with no "turning Turk," or being switched over to Islam. Jonathan Burton is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at West Virginia collage.
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Extra info for Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624
Turkish assessments of the English are difficult to find. Few English authors included actual Turkish voices and the Turks themselves seem to have written very little about their English visitors. Moreover, Turkish accounts of time spent among the English are only rarely located and translated. 87 Given the material obstacles to archival work on Ottoman culture, currently there are barely enough qualified scholars to properly catalog, let alone translate, the sundry volumes in Turkish archives.
For actors, playing the apostate might provide an opportunity to defend themselves against charges of apostasy. For the English patriarchy, staging resistance to apostasy was a means of shoring up notions of English masculinity. In the context of English religious instability, the same resistance compensated for real acts of apostasy, both within English Christendom and in the Ottoman ports of North Africa. Finally, in the context of Anglo-Ottoman relations, representations of Islam had the potential to exert powerful socioeconomic forces, whether in support or in condemnation of the traffic.
Sophia overlaps with English anxieties over the degeneracy and conversion of Christians in the Islamic world. Yet, if we also take the time to read the narratives of contemporary Muslim travelers in Europe, Knolles’s account can be understood as the product of a highly charged, religious dialogue. Muslim travelers to Europe repeatedly denounced the filthiness of European Christian society. ”103 In the context of both Islamic and Christian texts, Sa’d-ud-din’s rhetoric of spiritual cleanliness can be seen as part of an ongoing debate between Christians and Muslims that a historian like Knolles might have felt compelled to engage.