Monday, 4 November 2013


Note: The following is an portion of a speech I gave at a National Front meeting on cultural themes.

The Elizabethan theatre had several great playwrights: Thomas Dekker, Robert Greene, Thomas Kyd, George Chapman, George Peele and so on; however, I’m going to concentrate on two: William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Everyone in Britain, of course, knows Shakespeare even if only as a name, but Marlowe is less well known and there are reasons for that, despite him being at least as good a playwright as Shakespeare.

Little is actually known about these playwrights, their opinions, views and philosophy of life; it is not like nowadays, where anyone even remotely famous is interviewed and scrutinised by the press in minute detail in what’s become a sort of mass voyeurism. We do know, however, how Kit Marlowe died: he was stabbed in a bar fight. Can you imagine Kenneth Brannagh getting into a brawl in a pub? As I have said, the theatre was not the effete parlour for luvvies it is now.

Because we don’t know their opinions outside of their works, this has left their texts open to left-liberal interpretation. That’s why, for example – and we’re going to look at The Merchant of Venice – in Michael Radford’s film with Al Pacino as Shylock, Shylock is portrayed as a sympathetic character who is abused by Christians. In fact, the film begins and ends with a montage of Christians abusing Jews. It’s funny; I keep rereading the play, but I can’t find that anywhere in the text. Of course, Michael Radford himself is Jewish and he has reinterpreted the play – including rewriting parts of it – as propaganda for his own community. All art has an element of propaganda to it. Let that never be forgotten.

Therefore, I’m going to look at the illiberal aspects of these two playwrights to demonstrate why they cannot be assimilated by left-liberalism, and to do that, I’m going to focus on the interwoven subjects of race and ethnicity. Race is really looked at in four of Shakespeare’s plays: Titus Andronicus, Othello, The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice.


Titus Andronicus is a simple revenge tragedy. Titus comes back from successful campaigns against the Germans to a hero’s welcome in Rome. The emperor has just died and the public demand Titus become the new emperor, but Titus refuses, deferring to Saturninus, the old emperor’s son, whose character makes him unfit to rule, as his name suggests. Titus has lost many sons in the wars and so, as is customary, he sacrifices the eldest and strongest son of the Queen of the Germans, Tamora. This sets off the cycle of revenge in which Tamora’s two remaining sons rape and mutilate Titus’ daughter Lavinia and Titus kills Tamora’s sons, cooks them and feeds them back to their mother. The two sons are allowed to do this because they are integrated into Roman society because Tamora marries the new emperor Saturninus. The play, we remember, is from the earlier Elizabethan period and there is a primary didactic message here that you do not bring barbarians into your gates – a moral which rings very true today. Tamora also has a lover, Aaron, who is a blackamoor and pure evil personified. This he even acknowledges himself:
But I have done a thousand dreadful thingsAnd willingly as one would kill a fly,And nothing grieves me heartily indeedBut that I cannot do a thousand more.
Tamora uses Aaron to exact revenge upon Titus and the rape of Lavinia is his idea. There are always notions of sexual violence attached to Shakespeare’s black characters. Even in a later Jacobean play like The Tempest, Caliban, the deformed slave of Prospero, boasts of how he attempted to rape Prospero’s daughter, Miranda.

Shakespeare is always against miscegenation. When you look for the moral in an Elizabethan play, you always look at who can be brought into society and who is excluded at the end of the play. In this one, Aaron is led away to be executed; all the German barbarians are killed; Titus kills his daughter as an act of mercy; Titus is himself killed and so too the corrupt emperor Saturninus. That’s quite a pile of bodies. Order is finally restored by Titus’ remaining son, Lucius.

The play was very topical at the time of its staging, because Moroccan soldiers could be seen wandering the streets of London due to England’s alliance with Morocco at the time. They would have been looking to sow their wild oats. Elizabeth I, herself a keen theatre-goer, expelled them all in 1595. Did this play have anything to do with that?


Even in a later play like Othello, the Moor Othello cannot be integrated into society. That’s why it’s a tragedy, because no matter how noble he may be, he is always other and must remain outside. At the beginning of the play, when Iago shouts outside Desdemona’s father Brabantio’s window that his daughter has eloped with a “beast,” he alludes to several animals, and insinuates that his daughter will produce half-breeds, the critique, even though it comes from the mouth of the play’s villain, is true if it were not held by Shakespeare to be true, the play wouldn’t work.

There is also a bitter irony that it is Desdemona’s father, Brabantio the politician, who brings Othello into Venetian society by hiring him as a mercenary against the Ottoman Muslims. In other words, Brabantio’s actions are revisited upon him, and when he complains to the Duke of Othello and Desdemona’s marriage, he hasn’t got a leg to stand on, because it was he who brought the Moor into Venetian society in the first place. (Much like today’s political elite importing blackamoors for their own purposes.)

The main premise of The Merchant of Venice is a simple one. Bassanio wishes to travel to compete in the contest for Portia’s hand in marriage, but doesn’t have the money, so his friend Antonio borrows it from Shylock, the typical money-lending Jew. Antonio detests the Jews and Shylock knows it, so he gives him the money on condition that if he doesn’t pay it back in three months, he will have to give Shylock a pound of his flesh. Antonio is confident he will be able to pay Shylock back on time because his merchant ships are to arrive in Venice in a few days’ time.

However, his ships are blown off course and so he has to pay the pound of flesh. But Shylock is told by the judge in the affair (who is Portia in disguise) that he can take the pound of flesh, but should he take a drop of blood, he will be executed. It renders the act impossible, of course, and not only is Antonio spared, but Shylock loses his fortune and is forced to convert to Christianity into the bargain.

Shylock is integrated through his conversion to Christianity. Shakespeare should have known better, because the model for The Merchant of Venice was Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, which deals with the subject of Jews falsely converting to Christianity. The Jew here, Barabas, is actually mentioned in passing in The Merchant of Venice near the end.

The Jew of Malta, like Titus Andronicus, is a revenge tragedy. Note that both Barabas and Shylock are obsessed with revenge, a character trait which has always been associated with Jews, at least up until it was forbidden by hatecrime laws and political correctness. Shylock shows his appetite for revenge in his famous speech:
" will feed my revenge; he hath disgrac'd me, and hindred me half a million, laught at my losses, mockt at my gains, scorned my Nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies, and what's the reason? I am a Jew: Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same Winter and Summer as a Christian is: if you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility, revenge? If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example, why revenge?"
Four times in one speech, we have the word revenge. Contemporary critics use this speech to tell us that Shakespeare is actually critiquing Christian double standards and that Shylock’s criticism is true, but this is nonsense. Christian doctrine is specifically against taking revenge: ‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord’ – and you note in Titus Andronicus and The Jew of Malta that anyone who indulges in revenge is met with a tragic ending: that’s why they’re called revenge tragedies. Shylock’s life is spared because The Merchant of Venice is a comedy, but he still loses everything.

Barabas’ appetite for revenge is stirred when Selim Calymath, the Ottoman Sultan’s son, comes to demand tribute from Ferneze, the Governor of Malta, who, in turn, demands the money from the Jewish population, who have grown exceedingly wealthy. Barabas refuses and so has all his property is seized and his house converted into a nunnery. However, Barabas has a pot of treasure hidden under the floorboards of his house, and so, to get at it, he has his daughter Abigail falsely become a nun.

He also goes into a frenzy of revenge, bringing about the deaths of the governor’s son Lodowick and his best friend Mathias, having his slave kill a friar and then framing another friar for his murder, poisoning all the nuns and aiding the invasion of Malta by the Turks. He even poisons his own daughter after she converts and takes up the habit genuinely, because she becomes increasingly horrified by her father’s actions.

The Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
Left-liberal critics of the play have pointed out that all parties in the play are criticised: Turks, Jews and Christians. This, we must acknowledge, is quite true. The Maltese are very much criticised. The two friars I mentioned, who come from rival denominations, are shown to be avaricious, both wanting to convert Barabas so they can get their hands on his wealth. The governor too is shown to be cowardly, which is underlined in the outrage shown by Martin del Bosco, Vice Admiral of the Spanish fleet:
Will knights of Malta be in league with Turks,
And buy it basely too for sums of gold?
My lord, remember that, to Europe's shame,
The Christian isle of Rhodes, from whence you came,
Was lately lost, and you were stated here
To be at deadly enmity with Turks.
What leftist academics deliberately omit when the say that Marlowe criticises Jews, Turks and Christians equally is that they are critiqued differently: the Jews and Turks are critiqued for behaving like Jews and Turks, but the Christians in the play have forgotten their kinship and Christianity. Governor Ferneze has neglected his primary duty to defend Christendom and the two friars forget that, although they come from different denominations, they should both be brothers in race and religion and not coveting the favour of a Jew for worldly riches.

But Martin del Bosco also makes a grave mistake. In selling his captured Turkish slaves in Malta, he unwittingly creates another enemy within. Barabas buys one of the slaves, called Ithamore, whom Barabas uses to exact his revenge. The two are united by their hatred of Christians:
Why this is something: make account of me
As of thy fellow; we are villains both;
Both circumcised; we hate Christians both...
After Governor Ferneze’s refusal to pay tribute to the Turks (the jizya), Calymath invades the island. Barabas shows him the best way to enter Malta and attack by surprise, and so the governor and the Knights of Malta are quickly captured. Calymath gives Barabas governorship of the island as a reward and Ferneze and the knights are made slaves. But Barabas reasons that the people of Malta will assassinate him once Calymath leaves and so decides to double-cross Calymath and prepares a trap for him and his soldiers and tells Ferneze of his plans. Martin del Bosco then arrives with knights. Calymath is captured but Ferneze stops him from falling into Barabas’ trap, instead tricking Barabas himself into falling into his own vat of boiling oil.


The fact is that if these two playwrights had lived and written their plays today, they would be sitting in prison now, after being sentenced to long stretches for so-called “hatecrimes.” This is why no great art is being produced today: because great art cannot be produced in a climate of intensely-policed political correctness, especially when that dogma of political correctness is imposed specifically to forbid any expression and thus organic culture that pertains to the native population. Many nationalists have become quite negative and dispirited and see our age as a time of despair.I, however, see this as a time of opportunity, where there is room to make a name for yourself and create your own niche within a fledgling movement like ours. Shakespeare and Marlowe are immortal. Ask yourself: what can you do to etch your name into the history books forever?

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