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Dramatic GeographyRomance, Intertheatricality, and Cultural Encounter in Early Modern Mediterranean Drama$
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Laurence Publicover

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806813.001.0001

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Turks and Tournaments

Turks and Tournaments

Kyd’s Soliman and Perseda

(p.95) 4 Turks and Tournaments
Dramatic Geography

Laurence Publicover

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses Thomas Kyd’s little-known play Soliman and Perseda (1588–91), focusing on how Kyd shapes his Mediterranean world through literary and dramatic traditions. Contesting one critic’s reading of Soliman and Perseda as a play that critiques chivalric values and takes a significant interest in Mediterranean geopolitics, it argues instead that Kyd adapts his source, a prose romance, so as to bring it into line with late-Elizabethan dramatic fashions. Kyd’s emphasis on private values over national interests, it argues, partially—though by no means fully—unanchors the play from the Mediterranean world contemporary with its staging. Finally, the chapter explores how clowning in Soliman and Perseda and in some later Mediterranean dramas unsettles both the generic and the spatial decorum of the plays in which it operates.

Keywords:   Thomas Kyd, Soliman and Perseda, romance, Rhodes, Constantinople, clowning, chivalry

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