chapter  3
17 Pages

An Angel/Demon Dualism

Alongside the specific polarization of othered female sexuality between malleable sensual being and aggressive sexual predator, which is established in these long nineteenth-century stage works, an angel/demon dualism is set up in more general depictions of the Other. This chapter examines some of the methods by which the Other was both idealized and demonized on the British nineteenth-century stage. 'Noble savages' usually have a more European physiognomy than other 'natives' and in playing a self-sacrificial role strive for the good of their community and frequently aid its 'civilization', usually as an ally of the white Europeans in the story; they are often seen as childlike and thus quaint. The strength of demonization seems to increase as the century progresses, thus in the works of Bishop, for example, the Other is made more negative than demonic. Magic and sorcery were habitually associated with one another in European representations of the 'Orient', which is well illustrated in Bishop's Aladdin.