English Renaissance Drama and the Specter of Spain: Ethnopoetics and Empire

English Renaissance Drama and the Specter of Spain: Ethnopoetics and Empire

English Renaissance Drama and the Specter of Spain: Ethnopoetics and Empire

English Renaissance Drama and the Specter of Spain: Ethnopoetics and Empire

Synopsis

The spectre of Spain rarely figures in discussions of English Renaissance drama, yet this literary florescence is exactly contemporary with England's conflict with the Spanish Empire. This study discovers the rhetorical strategies through which Hispanophobic perspectives were written into English cultural memory.

Excerpt

And thries hadde she been at Jerusalem;
She hadde passed many a straunge strem;
At Rome she hadde been, and at Boloigne,
In Galice at Seint-Jame, and at Coloigne
.

—Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, c. 1390

Queen Gertrude. How now, Ophelia?
Ophelia. (sings) How should I your true love know
From another one?—
By his cockle hat and staff,
And by his sandal shoon.
Queen Gertrude. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, c. 1600

THE REMARKABLE LITERARY florescence we associate with the English Renaissance is exactly contemporary with England’s protracted conflict with the Spanish Empire, an epoch that saw the emerging Protestant nation’s traditional ally transformed as an archetypical adversary. And yet “the specter of Spain” rarely figures in our discussions of the drama long regarded as the period’s crowning aesthetic achievement. This book will raise the Spanish specter in order to discover the role played by the drama in the production and dissemination of anti-Spanish sentiment during this troubled historical conjuncture. I maintain here that within the field of early modern studies, discussions of national identity have too often failed to register—for reasons I also explore—the set of international relationships that loomed largest in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.