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"Who Stand i' th' Gaps": Narrative Authority in the Early Modern English Travel Play

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title
"Who Stand i' th' Gaps": Narrative Authority in the Early Modern English Travel Play
author
Greenholt, Jennifer Leigh
abstract
In travel writing, the conditions of travel (temporal, spatial, and cultural distance) prevent audiences from verifying foreign content for themselves, so travel accounts demand a narrator, in the words of Gower in Shakespeare's Pericles, "who stand[s] i' the gaps." However, because the traveler's task is to represent what is, for his readers, unknowable, his authority cannot be challenged and is subject to abuse. In this thesis, I analyze three English travel or travel-based plays--Shakespeare's and Wilkins's Pericles, Heywood's The English Traveller, and Brome's The Antipodes--as a setting in which to examine the use of travel to construct authority on the early modern stage. Travel plays, unlike a written travel narrative, place distant events and people in close physical proximity to the viewer and revitalize textual competitions for authority in living flesh. I argue that by making their narrators visible even as they gradually relegate travel to metaphor, these plays call attention to and question the use of travel to construct narrative authority.
subject
Early Modern Drama
Narrative Authority
Pericles
The Antipodes
The English Traveller
Travel Narrative
contributor
Harlan, Susan E (committee chair)
Franco, Dean J (committee member)
Hena, Omaar (committee member)
date
2011-07-14T20:35:34Z (accessioned)
2011-07-14T20:35:34Z (available)
2011 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/33453 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

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