THE ORIENTAL OTHER: SOLIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT IN KYD’S SOLIMAN AND PERSEDA; pp. 35–54Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/tr.2013.1.02
The image of Sultan Soliman I, the Magnificent (1520–1566) is curious in Elizabethan Age as an image of the Oriental Other. Sultan Soliman is represented in Thomas Kyd’s The Tragedy of Soliman and Perseda (1588) for entertainment. The thematic impact of Soliman’s personality and his life is portrayed in this drama. It is a distinctive portrait of an Oriental sultan in the Elizabethan eyes. Although historians envisage Soliman with admiration for his Oriental personage, Kyd personifies an Elizabethan stereotyped depiction of a Turkish sultan rather than the historical image of Soliman. Kyd’s Soliman is an immodest king with blood on his hands who cares only for his lust. Soliman tried several times to seduce Perseda, a Byzantine girl. His lust and injustice caused her death but Perseda the heroine put an end to his tyranny by poisoning him. Although Kyd describes his fear of the Turkish presence in Europe, he expresses his fascination with the Turkish Sultan. The characters of Soliman and Perseda represent the Oriental and the Occidental.
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