Elizabeth had a pretty normal life. She lived in an old farmhouse just outside of town. Elizabeth was active in her church as a bell ringer and involved in her community. One day Elizabeth was on the hill behind her place throwing a frisbee with her Dad and suddenly things changed. The last throw of the frisbee before supper went straight over her head as it caught a gust of wind and flew off into the maple bush. She rushed off into the woods to fetch it and immediately knew someone was there. She turned and there he was, an old man with a long beard and a mysterious looking outfit. This was the start of an amazing adventure that changed Elizabeth forever.
In Shakespeare's Foreign Worlds, Carole Levin and John Watkins focus on the relationship between the London-based professional theater preeminently associated with William Shakespeare and an unprecedented European experience of geographic, social, and intellectual mobility. Shakespeare's plays bear the marks of exile and exploration, rural depopulation, urban expansion, and shifting mercantile and diplomatic configurations. He fills his plays with characters testing the limits of personal identity: foreigners, usurpers, outcasts, outlaws, scolds, shrews, witches, mercenaries, and cross-dressers.
Through parallel discussions of Henry VI, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Merchant of Venice, Levin and Watkins argue that Shakespeare's centrality to English national consciousness is inseparable from his creation of the foreign as a category asserting dangerous affinities between England's internal minorities and its competitors within an increasingly fraught European mercantile system.
As a women's historian, Levin is particularly interested in Shakespeare's responses to marginalized sectors of English society. As a scholar of English, Italian Studies, and Medieval Studies, Watkins situates Shakespeare in the context of broadly European historical movements. Together Levin and Watkins narrate the emergence of the foreign as portable category that might be applied both to "strangers" from other countries and to native-born English men and women, such as religious dissidents, who resisted conformity to an increasingly narrow sense of English identity. Shakespeare's Foreign Worlds will appeal to historians, literary scholars, theater specialists, and anyone interested in Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Age.
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