DE ALGIERS and THE GREAT SULTANA: Two Plays of Captivity.
This civic function of shame problematizes the Captain's captivity by conferring upon it an affirmative quality through which shame is paradoxically the source of and solution to his trials in the bagnios of Algiers.
Even though the Captain and the other prisoners of the bagnios initially feared that the Renegade would reveal the escape plan and put their lives at risk if they did not accede to his insistence that he be the one to obtain the escape vessel, the Renegade continuously demonstrates his agency vis-a-vis the Captain's passivity.
As an already established honorable soldier, and as--in the opinion of Zoraida (to whom he also makes a promise)--the only true Christian gentleman to have passed through the bagnios, his silence presents a striking contradiction for his brother and the reader as well: why does the good, honorable Captain betray his word?
Miguel de Cervantes published Los banos de Argel [The Bagnios of Algiers] and La Gran Sultana [The Great Sultana] in Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses nuevos, nunca representados (1615).
A main theme of The Bagnios of Algiers and La Gran Sultana is the question of identity, and Fuchs and Ilika explain in the introduction that identities and allegiances were by no means clearly delineated: "Identities and allegiances were frequently more complex than the rote recitation of historical facts might suggest.
Situated next to the inns and palaces of Andalucia and Castilla, the soldiers' barracks of Naples, and the dank bagnios
of North Africa were islands filled with "barbaros," gold, and human sacrifice.