LIR - Literatur, Imagination, Realitšt, Band 54
"Stranger (of) Here and Everywhere"
The Construction of Ethnicity in Selected Renaissance Plays
The English Renaissance is a time of change and discovery. Among the greatest challenges that the newly shaping nation has to rise to, is the close contact with foreign places and peoples. The imported images of strangers, together with the foreigners living in London, do not only influence English historical realities, but also occupy the thoughts of the English. These versions and visions of strangers quickly find their way into one of the most important institutions of the early modern period - the theatres.
What roles do Non-European strangers play on the stages of the English Renaissance? The foreigners appear in various different shapes. They are feared and desired as the Others, the necessary counterparts essential in self-forming. While the fictional strangers are often more revealing about the strengths and weaknesses of the Europeans themselves, the foreign figures created are not simplistic characters. They are human beings capable of reason and emotion. They surpass their real-life models in positive and negative traits. Therewith English early modern drama designs its own discourses of foreignness and is trendsetting in many ways.
The first part of this book examines the depictions of foreigners in early modern travelogues and discusses methodological and theoretical terms. The second part analyses diverse early modern plays to show the wide range of foreignness as a relevant cultural topic.
ISBN 978-3-86821-700-1, 352 S., EUR 39,50 (2017)