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English Imperial Selfhood and Semiperipheral Witchcraft in The Faerie Queene, Daemonologie, and The Tempest

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abstract
Using New Historicist, feminist, and postcolonial approaches, my thesis examines the confluence of early modern Protestant England’s attempts to instate its nationhood on the world stage, its relations with Ireland and Scotland, and English writers’ representations of witchcraft. I discuss the ways that witches oppose Protestant patriarchal norms in the first book of Spenser’s 1590 poem The Faerie Queene, James I’s 1597-1603 tract Daemonologie, and Shakespeare’s 1610-11 play The Tempest. The Scottish and Irish witches of these works embody an intractable, powerful racial “Otherness” that undermines the production of faithful English subjects in the larger British Isles, keeping England from upholding its ambitions of territorial control. The English characters of each text thus demonize these women, defining Englishness in “civilized” opposition to their alterity. By invoking witches’ unruly and grotesque bodies, militant Englishmen in these texts justify their eradication of these women from their native Scottish and Irish spaces as divinely ordained and profitable to absolute rule. However, witches’ influences over these same spaces English characters aim to conquer pose a constant, feminized threat to imperial order, demonstrating entrenched counterdiscourses of Scottish and Irish cultural traditions of religion, gender, attachment to place, and individual agency.
subject
Daemonologie
empire
English Renaissance
The Faerie Queene
The Tempest
witchcraft
contributor
Davis, Elizabeth (author)
Valbuena, Olga L. (committee chair)
Harlan, Susan E. (committee member)
Hogan, Sarah A. (committee member)
date
2016-05-21T08:35:39Z (accessioned)
2016-05-21T08:35:39Z (available)
2016 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/59281 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
English Imperial Selfhood and Semiperipheral Witchcraft in The Faerie Queene, Daemonologie, and The Tempest
type
Thesis

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