What Was the Elizabethan Attitude Toward the Turks?

The people of Elizabethan England had a tendency to view any foreigners with suspicion, and the Turks were viewed in a particularly negative light. Due to the Crusades, Muslims were considered enemies of Christianity. They were often portrayed as exotic, but barbaric and instinctively heartless.

There are many examples in Elizabethan plays that reveal the attitudes that were shared by people of the day. In Shakespeare's play "Othello," the title character uses the word "Turk" to describe someone as being untrustworthy and evil, and Shakespeare was not the only playwright of the era to cast Turks in the role of wicked tyrants.