Politics of Equivocation and Deferral: Queen Elizabeth I and the Execution of Queen Mary of Scotland

Nabanita Chakraborty

Assistant Professor, Hansraj College, University of Delhi. Email:

Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.08

Received October 29, 2016; Revised December 21, 2016; Accepted December 25, 2016; Published January 14, 2017


Equivocation, indecisiveness and delay in action have often been viewed pejoratively in a world dominated by the discourse of rationality, dynamic individual action and potentiality. My article argues that procrastination and equivocation can be political strategies to avoid exigencies in the state. To elaborate my argument, a speech of Queen Elizabeth I deferring the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, November 24, 1586 has been closely analyzed to examine how rhetoric of ambiguity and deferral  act as diplomatic and prudent approaches to promote peace and respond to political exigency in early-modern England. This article concludes that Queen Elizabeth’s political statesmanship lies in understanding the dynamics of power related to voluntary inaction rather than to violent action.

 Keywords: deferral, equivocation, politics, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Mary of Scotland

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War on Terror: On Re-reading Dracula and Waiting for the Barbarians


Framed by the emerging emphasis in postcolonialism on terror and narratives of terror, this paper argues that Waiting for Barbarians (1980; hereafter Barbarians) can be read as a counter-discourse of resistance to Dracula’s (1898) representation of “war on terror” which revolves around the relationship between empire and its embattled subjects. To demonstrate this the paper examines how Barbarians deconstructs Dracula’s trope of barbarian invasion, resists the techniques of liquidating Dracula, and reimagines Dracula’s the notion of the end of history and the last man. The paper concludes that Dracula and Barbarians offer us radically different conceptualisations of the war on terror and contending visions of the future that cunningly reflect contemporary attitudes since the 9/11 attacks.  

The Spectacle of Science: the Art of Illusion in Prints of the French Revolution

Claire Trévien, University of Warwick, UK

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In this article, I will discuss prints from the French Revolution that utilize scientific instruments as political metaphors. France’s fascination with science during the Enlightenment has been well documented, notably by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and Christine Blondel in their recent investigation of its uses as a popular form of entertainment. Whether it was seen as an ally or a foe, the spectacle of science attracted Revolutionary artists. This pull reveals not only an understanding of scientific material thanks to the groundwork of the Enlightenment, but also a need to reposition science within a Revolutionary context. What the prints have in common is ‘spectacle’ in the sense that they are pre-occupied with the idea of illusion, not just as a negative act of deception but as a creative and potentially empowering process, allowing the viewer to see beyond reality into a brighter future.

Semiotic Encryption of Women, Violence and Hysteria in Indian Women Dramaturgy

Praggnaparamita Biswas,  Banaras Hindu University, India

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The juxtaposing depiction of women, violence and hysteria as semiotic elements in women-centric play-texts attempts to translate the theatrical meanings because of its demonstrable approach to unearth the textual meanings and its relational politics of representation. From semiological aspect, the interplay of women, violence and hysteria generates a kind of semiotic femaleness in order to prognosticate the feminist route of cultural politics imbedded in the narratives of female composed drama. The present paper intends to analyze the semiotic transformation of Indian women dramaturgy in the plays of Padmanabhan, Mehta and Sengupta. Each of their plays tries to interpret new meanings hidden under the semiotic signs used by these playwrights and also attempt to project the gender politics visualized in the realm of feminist theatre.  

Revolutionary Roads: Violence versus Non-violence: A comparative study of The Battle of Algiers (1966) and Gandhi (1982)

Vikash Kumar

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi India

Considered one of the finest realist films ever which reconstitutes perfectly the revolution by the people of Algeria, The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo Gillo, La Bataille d’Alger, Igor Film/ Casbah Films, Italy, 1966) presents us an image of a world of anger and agony. The making of The Battle of Algiers possibly heralded the birth of Algerian cinema as it was the first film made just after their independence. In fact, this cinematographic masterpiece reveals to its viewers a plethora of images depicting the Algerian people in their quest for independence. Made in the year 1966, by Gillo Pontecorvo and based on the personal experiences of Yacef Saddi, Military Head of the FLN (Front de liberation National/ National Liberation Front) who also collaborated on the script of the film, The Battle of Algiers, interestingly, was directed with the aim to highlight the invisible aspects and unheard voices of this violent revolution by the people of Algeria as well as the counter measures taken by the colonial power to suppress the movement.

Ajitesh Bandopadhay: In the Neighbourhood of Liminality

Rajdeep Konar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

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In my essay I would like to investigate the shift of paradigms in the relationship between theatre and politics that director, playwright and actor Ajitesh Bandopadhay (1933-83) was bringing into Bengali theatre. I would like to analyze how in the field of theater he was trying to form a threshold space: a threshold where politics and ethics, community and the individual, global and local can exist together as equals not imparting the hegemony of one on the other. How Ajitesh strove to conceive a theatre which puts forth itself as an analytical presence of life and society unmediated by an ideological or ethical regime. I would like to argue that it is in such a liminal presence in theatre, politics and the world; that the key to our future community of equality lie. This would also be an attempt at reclaiming the legacy of Ajitesh, whose influence on Bengali theatre has been hugely underplayed by the rather scanty posthumous attention being paid to his work.

People’s Art or Performance of the Elites?: Debating the History of IPTA in Bengal

Binayak Bhattacharya, EFL University, Hyderabad

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This article attempts to re-read the cultural history of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) within the larger context of the progressive nationalist politics of Bengal. The purpose of this re-reading is to engage in a debate to locate the political status of the various non-urban, non-elite, non-middle class performative practices within the political strata of IPTA. The article reiterates that the Left politics of Bengal maintained an inseparable alliance with the Bhadralok class since its early days and by virtue of this alliance, the hegemony of the Bhdraloks remained secured. Consequently, within the practical domain of the Left politics vis-a-vis the IPTA, the middle class intelligentsia kept controlling the performative arena by restraining the movements of various non-Bhadralok forms. By citing references from the writings of Sudhi Pradhan and Hemango Biswas, this article contemplates to enter into a lesser-known chapter from the glorified history of IPTA.

Drama and the Politics of Climate Change in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone

Norbert Oyibo Eze, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka

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Johnny Igbonekwu observes that ‘an obvious primal instinctive human quest” is to “conquer the world” but he equally notes that man has not been able to achieve this goal, in spite of his “formidable intellectual assaults on the multifarious stupendous mysteries of the world” (Talk About Man 1). The quest for all manner of domination-economic, political, territorial, and spatial, etc, has driven man into invention and mindless application of technology which in choking nature, cause it to frequently retaliate through global warming, tsunami, landslide, erosion, and flooding of different dimensions. The constant decimation of human lives, businesses, buildings, and municipal services as well as the emergence of perturbing diseases owing to these palpable effects of natural disaster, force the issue of climate change to occupy a significant place in the world of environmental studies and research. This paper seeks to explain the place of drama in tackling the problem of climate change through a detailed analysis and interpretation of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone considered to be a giant impact assessment study and provocative wake-up call.

Cities of Struggle and Resistance: The Image of the Palestinian City in Modern Arabic Poetry

Saddik M.Gohar, UAE University, UAE

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This paper aesthetically articulates the representation of the Palestinian city in modern Arabic poetry in order to argue that while Arab -and non-Arab poets-incorporate  variety of attitudes toward the city ,  the presentation of the Palestinian city reveals a radical difference from the rest of Arabic and non-Arabic poetry  due to the peculiar history of struggle, resistance and victimization characterizing life in the Palestinian metropolis.  To the Palestinian poets, in particular, the city is part of a homeland they have lost or a refugee camp that has been resisting the invaders for decades.  Contrary to western cities  inhabited by alien residents such as Eliot’s Prufrock, or Arab cities populated by strangers, outsiders, whores, outcasts and political prisoners  as in the literary  cities of Badr Shaker Al-Sayyab  and Ahmed Abdul-Muti  Hejazi , the Palestinian city is inhabited by heroes and martyrs.  These heroes who appear in contemporary Palestinian poetry and take different shapes personify the struggle and resistance of a nation that has frequently refused to surrender at times of crisis.  Representing the spirit of the Palestinian people confronting  a world replete with  treachery and hypocrisy,  the Palestinian city and its nameless heroes , in contemporary Arabic  poetry, is an embodiment of  an eternal and unlimited Palestinian dream , the dream of return, rebirth and liberation.  In this context, the paper affirms that unlike Arab cities which are associated with decadence, corruption, exploitation and moral bankruptcy, the Palestinian city,  due to the Palestinian history of exile, resistance, victimization and pain, is viewed in Arabic/Palestinian poetry as a location of heroism,  struggle, defiance and martyrdom.

Border Identity Politics: The New Mestiza in Borderlands

Lamia Khalil Hammad

Yarmouk University, Irbid-Jordan

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.08


This paper investigates Anzaldua’s Borderlands, first, for its radical theory of the mestiza consciousness and how it would establish the border identity for the Chicana/o people.Anzaldua’s Borderlands exemplifies the articulation between the contemporary awareness that ‘all’ identity is constructed across difference and argues for the necessity of a new politics of difference to accompany this new sense of self.  Borderlands maps a sense of the plurality of self, which Anzaldua calls mestiza or border consciousness. This consciousness emerges from a subjectivity structured by multiple determinants—gender, class, sexuality—in competing cultures and racial identities.