Dangerous Fellowship: Universal Faith and its Bodily Limits in <i>The Comedy of Errors</i> and <i>Othello</i>

Jane Hwang Degenhardt

in Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance on the Early Modern Stage

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640843
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651597 | DOI:
Dangerous Fellowship: Universal Faith and its Bodily Limits in The Comedy of Errors and Othello

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This chapter discusses how William Shakespeare's Othello and Comedy of Errors present a prehistory for the tensions between bodily distinction and spiritual faith. It argues that these tensions are presented in later plays by the clear threat of Islamic conversion. It observes that these two plays are set in eastern Mediterranean territories, which eventually became important commercial centres and sites for the imperial contest between Muslims and Christians. This chapter also examines how the plays explore the Pauline ideal of a universal fellowship of faith, but also fall back on the concrete materiality of physical differences in order to stabilize identity against conversion.

Keywords: William Shakespeare; tensions; bodily distinction; spiritual faith; Islamic conversion; imperial contest; Pauline ideal; fellowship of faith; Comedy of Errors; Othello

Chapter.  17569 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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