The article focuses on the images of African and particularly Muslim protagonists in an Early Modern dramatic work by Thomas Dekker with the aim of establishing the European perception of Moors, as African Muslims were generally described, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The purpose of analyzing an English play of this period is to discover the kind of attitudes the English government and certain writers and playwrights displayed in their approach to what was considered as the problem of the presence of the Moors in England, and Europe at large. The article also attempts to locate the debate about the European commercial and strategic policy towards the people of Morocco and the East, into the context of the treatment meted out to the Moors of Spain after the fall of their Empire during the fifteenth century. Moreover, the historical repercussions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries of the expulsion of Moors from Spain and the ensuing concepts of 'ethnic purity' are also discussed in terms of the literary representations of the race and identity of people of colour in Europe. These ideas serve to develop the argument, presented in the article, that the literary propaganda against racial integration paved the way for the prejudicial view of non-European, particularly non-white, people in Europe.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Prof. Dr. Farhana Wazir Khan