The article explores Shakespeare’s secularized retelling of the Christian theological narrative of deceiving the Devil, with Antonio playing the role of Christ and Shylock as the Devil. The article argues that recasting the contest between Christ and the Devil in the world of Venice sets the stage for Shakespeare’s larger exploration of the pervasive nature of deceit in human affairs. Although it seems that Shakespeare’s characters are resigned to live in a fallen world where truth is obscured, Portia’s invocation of mercy may be Shakespeare’s attempt to offer some hope of an earthly salvation. The article argues that this portrait of a world filled with deception resonated with Shakespeare’s audience. Men and women in early modern England lived in a world where they often had to hide their religious identities and loyalties. This interpretation challenges more recent attempts to see the play as primarily concerned with race and tolerance.
A Multi-level Approach to Acceleration and Turbulence in Oil-Producing Southern Chad
Andrea Behrends and Remadji Hoinathy
This article analyzes the effects of a World Bank–promoted oil revenue distribution model in Chad. The authors engage the classic anthropological concerns of kinship and land tenure to examine how oil money has affected the southern Chadian oil zone. In determining whether oil money differs from money originating in other industries, two examples are used: the effects of salaries from pipeline construction on marriage payments and the effects of compensation payments on land ownership and kinship. With regard to these effects, the authors argue that oil generates a uniquely disruptive form of local inflation. They conclude that despite the World Bank’s measures to ensure that its oil model is transparent and socially just, these disruptions inhere in the model itself.
In this article we shall attempt to show that despite the originality of Sartre's writings and the original philosophical views they contain, his reliance on Goethe's Faust in The Devil and the Good Lord proves that he was quite familiar with the components of the former and made intensive use of them in his own play. A comparative analysis of the two texts will show that Sartre exploited any ethical problem, human act, historical name and fact which he was able to fit into his own philosophical and social positions and which could contribute to his dramatic art.
In June 1951, Sartre’s play The Devil and the Good Lord (Le Diable et le Bon Dieu) was first produced at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris. Set during the German Peasants’ War, the play recounts the story of Goetz, a military leader who transforms himself from a feared and notorious war criminal into a saint and folk hero through a series of arbitrary acts of clemency and generosity. First sparing the besieged town of Worms from total destruction, Goetz then proceeds to break up his own estates and redistribute the land among the peasantry. Far from being presented as an ethical conversion from Evil to Good, however, Goetz’s generosity is twice criticised within the play as a strategem to achieve even greater domination over the beneficiaries of his mercy and munificence.
A Response to Nigel Rapport's 'Cosmopolitan Politesse'
Open to the journal’s remit to consider how the legal may enter social constructions of persons or might change meaning in terms of everyday interpretations, I am enchanted by Nigel Rapport’s redescription of anthropological practice in this issue’s forum. Such practice, he suggests, is a scaled-up version of everyday human practice, at least in so far as ‘the common humanity of our research subjects becomes the basis of our being able to understand their . . . [diverse] difference[s]’. Like Anyone, anthropologists use generalised human means to judge local actions. Acting in this way (when it becomes an ethic) is a mark of the cosmopolitan politesse he would see as a potential vector of a Western, liberal, moral vision, with its sense of the realities of human life, a knowable ontological foundation, in which individuals flourish when they sustain their own personal and collective worlds. Such a vision also mobilises a certain capacity for justice embedded in the everyday. The relation between this philosophically conceived notion of justice and ‘the legal’ is left to the imagination. But Rapport has given us much to think about with respect to how one might find or redefine what is of legal concern beyond the public arena of the state and its bureaucracy, and thus in ‘other’ kinds of social space.
Explorations of Gender in Dracula and Penny Dreadful
Season 1 of the television series Penny Dreadful showcases a Victorian London where monsters are reimagined as part of mainstream society. Much of season 1’s plot centres around an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, complete with a story arc involving a group of men attempting to save Mina Murray from a vampire master. At the end of Dracula, they are able to save Mina from Dracula’s influence and she is restored to a state of purity; however, in Penny Dreadful, Mina and the female characters remain unsaved. This article focuses on Penny Dreadful and the failed restoration of the gender order of Dracula’s society. It specifically emphasizes deeper gender issues present in the show’s adaptation of Victorian London, arguing that by allowing the main characters to be urban monsters, the show provides a non-human lens through which to examine societal constructs of gender in relation to selfhood.
Demonic belief in Scotland has primarily been addressed in the context of the witch-trials, in which the devil appeared as an external figure that convinced morally weak people (mostly women) to renounce their baptisms, enter into a demonic pact, and commit atrocious crimes. Encountering the devil, however, could also be a very personal, internal experience that arose from the questions of sin and salvation that formed an intrinsic part of reformed Protestant piety. I propose that in order to understand the importance of the devil to early modern Scotland, and Europe more generally, we must look beyond the witch trials and the dichotomy of good versus evil and ask how early modern men and women actually experienced the devil in their daily lives. By exploring the diaries and letters of both ministers and laymen in seventeenth-century Scotland, I demonstrate that the devil was not simply an evil, non-human "Other"; for early modern Scots, the demonic represented something innate and intimate about humanity itself, serving as a constant reminder of the moral depravity man, the potential for God's wrath, and the insecurity of salvation.
Gareth Pritchard, The Making of the GDR: From Anti-Fascism to Stalinism, 1945-1953 (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2000)
M.E. Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil: East Germany and Ostpolitik, 1969-1973 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001)
When I first read him more than forty years ago, I thought Peter Porter was the same age as he is now. Impressed by his evident conviction that the modern world was essentially a Technicolor version of one of those Dürer woodcuts in which the knightly rider was flanked by death and the Devil in his journey through a landscape ravaged by war and plague, I pictured the agonised artist as a gaunt, white-bearded figure hunched under a velvet cap, setting down his long-pondered apocalyptic visions by candlelight. Not that his poems creaked: indeed they hurtled. But, however long their rhythmic breath and legato their line, they still sounded like the last gasps of a sage, and all the sages I had ever heard of had whiskers on them.
Early modern political discourse was no stranger to the use of angels and demons to denote the binary opposition between good and evil, Self and Other - and neither was the early modern stage. References to the divine and the demonic might be used to clarify complex political issues to the public, legitimise one's own position, or sling mud at one's opponents. This article focuses on two early Jacobean history plays, Barnabe Barnes's The Devil's Charter (1606) and Thomas Heywood's If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody (1605); it examines the use of angels and demons in the staging of issues of religious difference and political action in the confusing years following Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603, when old attitudes to traditional 'Others' had to be reconfigured in the light of the views and interests of the new monarch, King James VI and I.