Aruj Barbarossa Research Paper

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The term orientalist or orientalism is defined as the way in which Eastern cultures, such as Middle Eastern and Asian cultures, are described or portrayed by Westerners. Typically these descriptions are offensive and stereotypical. For example, the way in which Aruj Barbarossa is portrayed in the work of Laugier de Tassy reinforces the violent, pleasure-addicted and cruel stereotype of the Middle East. It is because of de Tassy's Christian values and the Christian values of other writers and artist at the time, that “Oriental Despotism” was a prevalent attitude. There are many examples in the de Tassy's work that show how his Christian ideals influence his writing including the emphasis placed on the virtue of Zaphira and the tyrannical violence and the haughtiness of Barbarossa. Virtuousness is a greatly important Christian ideal that is prevalent throughout Christian literature. Characters such as the Virgin Mary are praised on their purity and virtuousness and it is a highly sought after trait by Christians even today. In de Tassy's writing, this trait is represented by…show more content…
De Tassy describes Barbarossa as a “despotic sovereign”(4), “inhuman”(4), “Usurper”(5), and “Tyrant”. These descriptions encapsulate the Orientalist view on the Middle East. Many in Europe, especially Christians, saw the Ottoman Empire and Islam as violent and cruel. However, de Tassy doesn't condemn all violence, for Zaphira's attempt to kill Barbarossa made her into a Heroine. It is the violent and seemingly barbaric practices of Barbarossa that go against Christian values. For example, de Tassy describes at length the executions and killings at the hands of Barbarossa. The killing method of choice of Barbarossa was that of strangulation, a barbaric and cowardly way to kill. Zaphira, on the other hand, tried to use a knife, exhibiting her bravery in facing Barbarossa head

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