Nations into Persons

Jeffrey Knapp

in Rereading the Black Legend

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780226307213
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226307244 | DOI:
Nations into Persons

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This chapter explores the means by which Elizabethan writers characterized English national identity as “motley” or a mixture of many other cultures, languages, and peoples. It argues that writers John Lyly, William Shakespeare, and Edmund Spenser reached back into history to remember when England was itself a conquered territory. This chapter notices that the depicted intermixed nation is not figured as a multicultural social unit, but as a single person who embodies in himself or herself the complexity of the social formation.

Keywords: English national identity; Elizabethan writers; John Lyly; William Shakespeare; Edmund Spenser; intermixed nation; social formation

Chapter.  8596 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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