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A History of European LiteratureThe West and the World from Antiquity to the Present$
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Walter Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732679

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732679.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

The Representation of Empire in the Renaissance, 2

The Representation of Empire in the Renaissance, 2

Global Perspectives

Chapter:
(p.273) 10 The Representation of Empire in the Renaissance, 2
Source:
A History of European Literature
Author(s):

Walter Cohen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732679.003.0010

The overseas expansion of Western Europe beginning in the fifteenth century inspires original literary responses. For the Old World, the poetry of Camões proves revealing for its treatment of war and commerce, race and love. For the New, brief review of a wide range of writers suggests two conclusions. The first is the continuing relevance of the category of the Renaissance, the second the centrality of nonrepresentational literature in the response to empire. Consideration of Shakespearean drama leads to emphasis on economics and politics—the plays’ oblique relationship to global commodities and the final plays’ central concern with imperialism, arguably with New World imperialism. In conclusion, a different perspective on empire is offered by the writings of the conquered in America and Africa.

Keywords:   Camões, Renaissance, Shakespeare, nonrepresentational literature, commodities, imperialism, New World

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