These texts represent Islamic power and wealth in scenes of piracy on the high seas, on-stage execution by strangulation, and rites of religious conversion. The plays are set in historical and cultural context by Daniel J. Vitkus's clear and thoughtful introduction. These carefully edited, annotated, modern-spelling editions are particularly valuable for understanding the cultural production of English identity in relation to the Islamic Other.
Daniel Vitkus equips us with an extremely informative introduction as well as fresh, reader-friendly editions of three plays about that great early modern English other, ´ the Turk, and about Islam´s enigmatic ally, the renegade or convert. Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century imaginings of Islamic culture (from Barbary pirates to Ottoman despots, from circumcision to the seraglio feature prominently in well over a dozen Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, so it is high time that we had easy access to three prime examples.