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‘Shakespeare Had the Passion of an Arab’

The Appropriation of Shakespeare in Fadia Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep

Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

Abstract

This article analyses the Shakespearean appropriation in Fadia Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep (2014) to show how Faqir’s novel establishes a new Arab Jordanian feminist trope of the willow tree, metaphorically embodied in the female character of Najwa, who does not surrender to the atrocities of the masculine discourse. Faqir’s novel, appropriating a direct text from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and an allusion to Shakespeare’s Othello, does not praise the Bard but dismantles the Shakespearean dramatization of the submissive woman. In this article, I claim that Faqir’s Willow Trees warns against mimicking the Bard’s feminine models and offers a liberating space or a local ‘alternative wisdom and beauty’, in Ania Loomba’s expression, and a ‘challenge’, in Graham Holderness’s terminology, to Shakespeare. In Faqir’s novel, Shakespeare has been ‘Arabized’, in Ferial Ghazoul’s words, to revise and redefine new roles of the Arab Jordanian woman.

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Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

Abstract

This article analyses the filtering of Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611) in the Restoration drama repertoire, showing the Restoration revision of the Shakespearean stereotypical delineation of the ‘half-moor’ Caliban in the light of Restoration England's complex relations of admiration and trepidation with regard to the Muslim Moors and Turks. Dryden-Davenant's The Tempest or The Enchanted Island (1667) complicates the figures of Caliban and Sycorax as Muslim Moorish friends or foes and possible subjects of Charles II's English Tangier on the Barbary coast. Dryden-Davenant's The Enchanted Island makes historical parallels and allusions to Charles II's marriage to the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza and the English possession of Tangier as a part of the marriage dowry.

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Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

Abstract

This article examines the transformation of the trope of the renegade character in late seventeenth-and early nineteenth-century English drama, as represented by John Dryden's Don Sebastian (1689) and its adaptation by Frederick Reynolds as The Renegade (1812). Reynolds adopts the trope of Restoration ‘cultural renegade’, or what I call ‘Restoration gone cultural revolutionary protagonist’, to reflect on the military alliance between England of George III and the Oriental Muslims in Egypt in 1801 against their common enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte. The renegade character in the plays of Dryden and Reynolds transcends religious limitations of the negative connotations of betrayal and fosters cross-cultural interactions.