Abstract

Elizabethan city comedy articulates new, mercantile values and concerns in the face of changing economic structures. In addition to characters (often in disguise) from the mercantile class, these plays are densely populated by foreign characters or Englishmen disguised as foreigners. This essay argues that the staging of such foreignness, especially as it connects to the Dutch, adds national identity to the list of values inculcated by city comedy. Paradoxically, while Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday represents an Englishman who negotiates a cosmopolitan world of changing trade realities, that broader knowledge serves a nationalist agenda, ultimately exorcising foreignness and celebrating the English nation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 349-370
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-18
Open Access
No
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