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date: 25 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the comedies Shakespeare offers glimpses of the world’s ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity, and raises the question of whether a culturally and racially diverse world can transcend the tragic forces inherent in racial, ethnic, and religious strife and therefore imagine a progressive, forward-looking social paradigm. This chapter thoroughly examines the question of race in Shakespeare’s comedies, offering a comprehensive discussion of race and racism, caricature and humour, the aggression of language, the centrality and prominence of images of whiteness, and a sense of global interconnectedness intertwined with fear of foreign influence. Therefore, the comedies raise the potential for inclusion in exclusion and the potential for exclusion in inclusion. Shakespeare approaches racial issues and ethnic contrasts to reveal subtle connections in contrasts, and the cultural forces of exclusion that inclusion of difference entails.

Keywords: Shakespeare, comedy, ethnicity, race, racism, cultural diversity, national identity, cross-cultural encounters, inclusion, exclusion

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