chapter  4
18 Pages

Just Passing: Abbé Carré, Spy, Harem-lord, and ‘made in France’

ByPompa Banerjee

The protagonist of Shakespeare's The Tempest, as an emissary who negotiates between European self and foreign Other, as well as between past and present time, and examine the complex and interesting ways in which one kind of negotiation informs the other. While the medieval myth of the idol-worshipping Saracen might have been largely discarded by many early modern European commentators, many Europeans still insisted on the intrinsic irrationality of Islam. Shakespeare's play The Tempest was written at an important moment in Western intellectual history. Reading The Tempest in the light of the traffic of knowledge also allows for an understanding of the literary text itself functioning, in Stephen Greenblatt words, as 'a structured negotiation and exchange' between 'one culturally demarcated zone and the other'. Jerry Brotton, Rachna Sachdev, and Barbara Fuchs, among others, have argued that it is problematic to dismiss the old-world references in The Tempest.