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By Tennessee Williams

Christmas 1982: Cornelius and Bella McCorkle of Pascagoula, Mississippi, go back domestic one hour of darkness in a thunderstorm from the Memphis funeral in their older son to a home and a lifestyles actually falling apart--daughter Joanie is in an insane asylum and their more youthful son Charlie is upstairs having intercourse along with his pregnant, holy-roller female friend because the McCorkles input. Cornelius, who has political objectives and a litany of illnesses, is making an attempt to discover a large number of moonshine cash his light spouse Bella has hidden someplace of their collapsing residence, yet his noisy efforts are disrupted by way of a circulate of outstanding characters, either dwelling and dead.

While Williams frequently used drama to show desire and desperation in human hearts, it used to be via this darkish, expressionistic comedy, which he referred to as a "Southern gothic spook sonata," that he used to be top in a position to chronicle his imaginative and prescient of the delicate nation of our global.

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As a result, religious conversion assumed a new significance in these geographical locations as a force that threatened to turn Christians into Muslims. 11 The English popular stage participated in the process of negotiating the physical and spiritual boundaries of faith by representing religious identity in relation to questions of embodiment. The very conjunction between religious conversion and sexual turning that is repeatedly put forward on the stage reflects a compulsion to link religious identity directly to bodily contamination and reproduction.

Thus the English stage brought to the surface Protestant reformers’ continuing ambivalence about the role of embodiment and the material aspects of Christian faith. In particular, it revealed how Islam exacerbated uncertainties about the intangible nature of conversion and brought these uncertainties to a head. The drama’s emphasis on the body, rather than the spirit, as a means of avoiding Islamic conversion and contamination not only illustrates the continuing sway of Catholic models of faith, but affords unique insights into the process by which racial distinctions emerged between Christians and Muslims in the early modern period.

This approach illuminates ways in which early modern plays cited one another, shared common tropes, and participated in mutual conversations that are now obscured by the literary canon’s organization around individual authors and its marginalization of many 28 Islamic Conversion and Christian Resistance non-Shakespearean plays. For example, my second chapter uncovers a small group of martyr plays performed at the Red Bull Theatre that resonate in important ways with “turning Turk” plays performed around the same time.

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