Englishmen abroad : mobility and nationhood in Dido, Queen of Carthage and Edward II

HOPKINS, Lisa (2010). Englishmen abroad : mobility and nationhood in Dido, Queen of Carthage and Edward II. English, 59 (227), 324-348.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/english/efq019
Link to published version:: 10.1093/english/efq019

Abstract

In the growing push to map the extent of English Renaissance drama's engagement with the ways in which the previously securely separate territories of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales were and were not being moulded into a unified and cohesive ‘Great Britain’, relatively little attention has been paid to the plays of Christopher Marlowe. In some respects, this blind spot is unsurprising: only one of Marlowe's seven plays is set within the British Isles, and he died ten years before James VI and I acceded to the English throne and launched his attempt to produce a united Britain. Nevertheless, Marlowe's plays are profoundly interested in ideas of nationhood, and above all in the connection between shifting geographical location and nationhood. This was a relationship which was to come to the fore when James came south and, but it was already being raised by the growing push to ‘plant’ Englishmen in Ireland and America, and it is a linkage which to some extent surfaces in all Marlowe's plays. The idea of a potential tension between mobility and nationhood is however most prominent in two plays, Dido, Queen of Carthage and Edward II, and although its representation in each may not at first sight appear to intersect with ideas of Britishness, I argue here that these two plays are, like contemporary discourses of England's relation to its neighbours and the ‘planting’ of Englishmen abroad, radically configured by an interest in whether or not nationhood is potentially separable from its original geographical location.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1093/english/efq019
Depositing User: Lorna Greaves
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 16:16
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2012 16:16
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6294

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