When Juliet Turns Black: Social Scapegoating in Alice Childress’s Wedding Band

Asmaa Mehdi Saleh


Since its production William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has been considered too modern for its time because of its portrayal of ill-fated characters whose tragedy is not triggered by any personal flaw of their own, but by family feuds and social scapegoating. In contemporary times, the playwrights still focus on similar stories of unattainable love and tragic romantic figures, who fall prey to the familial and social pressures. In her Wedding Band (1973), Alice Childress presents her black and white Romeo and Juliet who are modern victims of the omnipresent racism in their society. The play confirms that racism is not only practised by whites against blacks but also displayed by blacks against whites. In Wedding Band, Childress presents images of angry women united by their suffering and need of sisterly solidarity. Their anger is a positive rather than negative factor as it frees the heroine from the ties that make her an outcast in her own community. This paper discusses the destiny of two lovers who face refusal from their family and society and the subsequent anger of the female characters whether in favour or against this romantic relation.


Anger, African American Women, Oppression, Women’s Rights

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.6p.69


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