Black Skin in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (1593-94):

  [Aar.]  O how this villainy
Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace,
Aaron will have his soul black like his face. (3.1.202-05)

  [Marc.]  It was a black ill-favor'd fly,
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him. (3.2.66-67)

Enter Nurse with a blackamoor child….
  Nur.  A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue!
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime.
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point.
  Aar.  'Zounds, ye whore! is black so base a hue?
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure. (4.2.51sd-72)

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596-97):

  [Serv.]  There is a forerunner come from a fift, the Prince of Morocco, who brings word the Prince his master will be here to-night.

  Por.  If I could bid the fift welcome with so good heart as I bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach. If he have the condition of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. (1.2.124-31)

  Mor.  Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadow’d livery of the burnish’d sun,  
To whom I am a neighbor and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,           
Where Phœbus’ fire scarce thaws the icicles,
And let us make incision for your love,      
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.         
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine
Hath fear’d the valiant: by my love, I swear 
The best regarded virgins of our clime        
Have lov’d it too: I would not change this hue,       
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen. (2.1.1-12)

  [Bass.]  Ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on. (3.2.97-100)

  [Jes.]  He says, you are no good member of the commonwealth, for in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.
  Lor.  I shall answer that better to the commonwealth than you can the getting up of the negro's belly: the Moor is with child by you, Launcelot.
  Laun.  It is much that the Moor should be more than reason. (3.5.34-41)

William Shakespeare, Othello (1604):

  Iago.  'Zounds, sir, you're robb'd; for shame, put on your gown;
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is topping your white ewe. Arise, arise;
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you:
Arise, I say. (1.1.86-92)

  [Iago.]  I hate the Moor. (1.3.386)

  [Oth.]  I spoke of most disastrous chances …
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery. (1.3.134-38)

William Shakespeare, Sonnets (1593-1609):

In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name;
But now is black beauty's successive heir,
And beauty slander'd with a bastard shame. (127.1-4)

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-96):

  [The.]  The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt. (5.1.10-11)

William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (1601-03):

  Pan.  Because she's kin to me, therefore she's not so fair as Helen: an she were not kin to me, she would be as fair on Friday as Helen is on Sunday. But what care I? I care not an she were a black-a-moor; 'tis all one to me. (1.1.74-78)

William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606):

  [Macb.]  The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon! (5.3.11)

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99):

  [Hero.]  If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antique,
Made a foul blot (3.1.59-64)

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (1601-02):

  Duke.  That face of his I do remember well;
Yet, when I saw it last, it was besmear'd
As black as Vulcan in the smoke of war. (5.1.51-53)

William Shakespeare, Henry VIII (1612-13):

  [King.]  He, my lady,
Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
That once were his, and is become as black
As if besmear'd in hell. (1.2.121-24)

William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594):

  Thu.  What says she to my face?
  Pro.  She says it is a fair one.
  Thu.  Nay then, the wanton lies; my face is black.
  Pro.  But pearls are fair; and the old saying is,
Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes. (5.2.8-12)

William Shakespeare, Love's Labours Lost (1594-95; rev. 1597):

  Ferd.  By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
  Ber. Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:
No face is fair that is not full so black.
  Ferd.  O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the suit of night;
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.
  Ber.  Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light….
  [King.]  Ethiopes of their sweet complexion crack. (4.3.243-64)

William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594):

  [Pro.]  And Silvia – witness Heaven, that made her fair! –
Shows Julia but a swarthy Ethiope. (2.6.25-26)
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1595):

  [Rom.]  It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear. (1.5.45-46)

William Shakespeare, Pericles (1606-08):

  Thai.  A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Ethiope reaching at the sun
The word, ‘Lux tua vita mihi.’ (2.2.18-21)