The Other Within: Aaron the Moor in Titus Andronicus
England's unexpected victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 did much to bolster England's national spirit and usher in a new era of exploration and imperial sentiment. Exploration of the world beyond the boundaries of the British Isles "was accompanied by an intensified production of visions of 'other' worlds" (Bartels 433) culled from both classical sources and first-person accounts. England's newfound imperialist tendencies became a double-edged sword: it opened the world to English prying eyes, but at the same time opened the door to allow the "other" worlds into England. This era of English history is typefied by "not only a burgeoning taste for imperial enterprise but one timpered by fears of nvasion by others" (Royster 435). In reaction, whether through "conscious or unconscious agenda" (Bartels 434), England's cultural rhetoric "began to outline space and close off borders, to discriminate under the guise of discerning, and to separate the Other from the self" (Bartels 434). With skin color so easily discerned from afar, it is not surprising that the Moor emerged as an Other in Renaissance England, "becoming increasingly visible within...
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