Pre-modern English Identity and Roman Otherness in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline: Some Gender-based Considerations

Keywords: Roman ethos, English identity, Roman history play, Cymbeline, Skakespeare.

Abstract

This paper aims at characterizing Shakespeare’s Cymbeline relying upon some aspects featured by Shakespearean Roman history genre, as those reveal various tensions between the English premodern identity and the Roman ethos, which was considered an imperialist model by Jacobean and Elizabethan England. This analysis is carried out from a revisionist historical perspective of premodern England, and from the idiosyncratic framework of Shakespearean Roman history plays. It is concluded that Cymbeline displays an ironic dialectics between the double canon of Roman ethos, romanitas and pietas, positioning it as contradictory and detrimental for the social health of the body politics. Shakespeare’s Rome in Cymbeline represents the contrary to the idealized model used by Elizabethan imperial propaganda in the process of construction of their national poiesis.

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Author Biography

Andrea Bibiana Puchmüller, Universidad Nacional de San Luis
Doctora en Letras, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. Profesora adjunta exclusiva, Cátedra de Literaturas Anglófonas, Departamento de Artes, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina. Av. Ejército de los Andes 950, D5700 bpb, San Luis, Argentina. puchmuller@gmail.com http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5683-2856

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Published
2020-01-28
Section
Theoretical Articles