By Jean-Pierre Maquerlot, Michèle Willems
This e-book explores interconnections among voyage narratives and trip performs in a interval of extreme overseas family and the incipient colonization of the recent global. Eminent Renaissance students use old enquiry and textual research to supply new readings of narrative and dramatic texts, corresponding to The Spanish Tragedy, Dr. Faustus, Eastward Ho! or The Tempest, including fairly vague works. they're envisaged either within the context of the interval and from the far-reaching point of view of Britain's cultural background.
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Extra resources for Travel and Drama in Shakespeare's Time
24 The icon of civilization leads to an excess of zeal, which is pleasurable rather than threatening Elizabethan perceptions of Ireland 37 according to Ralegh's witty trope. Such naked savages are to be contrasted to the most fearsome naked men of all, the cannibals: 'In all these places for the most part the Indians go naked, and are wilde people. 25 Whilst the Irish are most usually represented as the post-lapsarian branch of naked man-in some cases as cannibals-perceptions of them as docile tabulae rasae are extant.
After this demonstration of Islamic schism, the Sherleys reciprocate with A Christian battle shown between the two brothers, in which Anthony takes Robert and his followers prisoner, and the Sophy declares enthusiastically that Your wars are royal, So joined with music that even death itself Would seem a dream; your instruments dissolve A body into spirit but to hear Their cheerful clamours. (1-89-93) Notice how the playwrights have avoided any suggestion that the heads on Persian swords are meant to be real: this is not a representation of an actual triumph, as it would have been if they had simply dramatized what they found in their sources, but a show of a show, a representation of courtly make-believe, a masque or pageant within a play.
In all these accounts, mass decapitation is accepted as part of what Stephen Orgel calls 'the illusion of power':26 to reject it, as the Spaniards rejected Aztec practices of human sacrifice, is to refuse the possibility of dialogue with an alien political culture. This is not simply a question of practical diplomacy, playing along with foreign atrocities for the sake of larger political objectives; it is also a matter of bridging the gap between two different rhetorics of self-assertion, and thereby establishing a basis on which the awareness of cultural difference can generate rapprochement rather than incomprehension.
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