Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Unlike ‘race’, with which ‘slavery’ is often associated in today’s society, early modern language relating to servitude is under-investigated. Using Shakespeare’s dramatic works as its primary archive, this chapter explores two forms of extra-legal slavery which, it is argued, facilitate discursive exchange between intra-European or intra-British modes of degradation and those employed in Anglo-colonialism. It begins with a study of ‘slave’ as a status-based pejorative that can be differentiated from ‘villain’ and ‘peasant’, and understood in connection with the Vagrancy Act of 1547, which introduced a form of penal ‘slavery’. The second extra-legal form of slavery, war slavery, is explored as part of the dramatic action of Titus Andronicus and Cymbeline, and with reference to debates on Anglo-colonialism.

Keywords: race, slavery, Anglo-colonialism, Roman jurisprudence, Vagrancy Act, Cymbeline, Spenser, Heliodorus, ritual sacrifice, status

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.