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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the importation into English drama of elements that had their roots in European theatre as well as in classical sources and in English imaginations of the ancient past. It shows how this foreign material was absorbed by the plays of Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton, and John Marston, becoming fully international even when they appeared to be most local. It also considers several methodological categories for thinking in new ways about the problem of cultural translation that had come to define English theatre by 1600, including the need to recognize what it calls the ‘formal agency’ of the theatre’s many different parts—the tropes, genres, emotions, characters, geographies, and ideas that imported a richly overdetermined set of foreign cultural meanings onto the English stage. Three troping actions that describe the transformations brought about by the foreign on stage are discussed: the foreign as intertext, or trope intertextual; the foreign as intertheatrical, or intertheatrical trope; and translation, or trope intercultural.

Keywords: English drama, European theatre, plays, William Shakespeare, Thomas Dekker, cultural translation, English theatre, tropes, foreign, intertext

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