Shakespeare’s Globe Investigates the Bard’s Muslim Links

News   Shakespeare’s Globe Investigates the Bard’s Muslim Links
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London is marking the 400th anniversary of Othello with a series of lectures, staged readings and courses investigating Elizabethan and Jacobean attitudes to Islam.

In a press statement, Shiban Akbar from the Muslim Council of Great Britain said, “This is an ideal opportunity to explore the historic relationship between Shakespeare’s England and the world of Islam.”

Events include:

“Pass the Kleenex: The Handkerchief in the Islamic Middle East” — March 17. Patricia Baker PhD. looks at the symbolism to Islam of the handkerchief, a device Shakespeare crucially used in Othello and which Arab writers composed verses about hundreds of years earlier.

“Terrible Turks?: Fashion and Fantasy in English Drama” — March 24. Dr. Mark Hutchings explores the early English theatre’s fascination with the Ottoman Empire and the ways that Turks were depicted on the stage.

Readings of Christopher Marlowe’s rarely performed Tamberlaine Parts One and Two (Part One on March 14, Part Two on March 28) and George Peele’s The Battle of Alcazar on April 4. The lectures are in the Globe’s Lecture Theatre, the readings at the Globe Education Centre Theatre, Park Street. Globe Education Director Patrick Spottiswoode evidently has hopes for the program beyond mere scholarship. “We hope that the various events planned for people of all ages will promote a deeper understanding and respect for the faith of this country’s Muslim community,” he said in a statement.

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