Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama by Lloyd Edward Kermode

By Lloyd Edward Kermode

Overlaying a large choice of performs from 1550-1600, together with Shakespeare's moment tetralogy, this ebook explores ethical, ancient, and comedian performs as contributions to Elizabethan debates on Anglo-foreign relatives in England. the commercial, social, spiritual, and political matters that arose from inter-British touch and Continental immigration into England are reinvented and rehearsed at the public degree. Kermode uncovers wide 'alien stages' within the drama: distinct yet overlapping approaches in which the alien was once used to posit principles and beliefs of Englishness. Many reviews of English nationwide identification pit Englishness opposed to the alien 'other' in order that the local self and the alien settle into antithetical positions. against this, extraterrestrial beings and Englishness reads a physique of performs that characterize Englishness as a nation of ideological, invented superiority - mockingly reliable in its consistent changeability, and taken into being by way of incorporating and at last accepting, or even celebrating, instead of rejecting the alien.

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Here we really see the line between the first and second alien stages being blurred as the very push to eliminate the alien confirms the alien nature of the Englishness being striven for. A crucial feature of this play is the multiple naming of the merchant, aka Greediness, aka Wealthiness. There seems to be no way to be both moral and wealthy. Such a view will be altered by the end of the century, but in the 1570s and 1580s this third play’s combination of 18 Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama moral sermon and contemporary social politics pushes us towards a ‘belated morality’ that speaks very clearly to the fast-developing trading centre of London: Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London.

Will perverts the right sense of ‘Liberty’ to make it a ‘licentiousness’ – as Love will become Lust in Three Ladies – that allows Will to ‘be bolde’, dangerous, evil. His presence in turn is like the vice Courage in The Tide Tarrieth who ‘incourages’ others to act illicitly; Will turns ‘colde’ Liberty into hot licentiousness. Liberty should of course be a well-balanced, neutral protector of English Wealth and Health, as he claims earlier in the play (Bv–B2), and Will is upsetting Liberty’s humoral balance.

We do not see alien confusion working through a reading of the Dutch ‘Hance’ of either Like Will to Like or Wealth and Health so much as we find it through the discovery of unacknowledged or slowly revealed alien elements that make up the purportedly English characters. In Chapter 3, I am interested in showing how the physicality in The Tide Tarrieth is brought to the fore in later plays. The moral message for Wilson is always backed up by a physical threat; moral decline will lead to physical pain.

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