This chapter develops an initial reading of otherworld encounters that highlights their role within the texts in which they are embedded, rather than their relationship to the historical context in which they are imagined. This chapter explores how authors use various techniques to construct internally consistent fantastical realms that provide an incentive for the audience to ‘make-believe’. Otherworlds do not function as discrete units within the fictional text; rather, the interaction between the primary historical world, the secondary world of the narrative, and the ‘tertiary’ otherworld drives the plot and allows the author’s central concerns and themes to be unpacked. The chapter includes discussions of a series of themes frequently associated with otherworld: gender, desire, and death.
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