‘Constant Changelings’, Theatrical Form, and Migration: Theatrical Form, and Migration: Stage Travel in the Early 1620s

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Early modern plays of travel and encounter have conventionally been analysed as responses to journeys or their documentation, or for their incorporation of journeying into dramatic narrative. This chapter attends instead to theatrical form and aesthetics and, in doing so, proposes a reconfigured relationship between travel drama and the fluid generic categories of early modern English theatre. Middleton and Rowley’s 'The Changeling' (1622) is analysed alongside Fletcher’s 'Island Princess' (c. 1621) and the 1622 quarto printing of Shakespeare’s 'Othello' as part of a group of plays printed and performed in close proximity in the early 1620s, the early years of the Palatinate crisis. 'The Changeling' reframes scenarios and structures of stage travel, such as the heretical foreign woman and peripeteia, for the loaded representation of Europe to England in this fraught moment, an aesthetic technique that connects 'The Changeling' to its political moment as much as any thematic content or topical reference might. Investigating structures, tropes and figures that circulate between these plays and which are saturated with the associations of stage travel, this essay reconfigures definitions of ‘stage drama’ and reveals both a political and an aesthetic, generic, experiment at play on the early 1620s English stage.© 2018, Cambridge University Press. The attached document (embargoed until 01/03/2019) is an author produced version of a chapter published in TRAVEL AND DRAMA IN EARLY MODERN ENGLAND: THE JOURNEYING PLAY uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTravel and drama in early Modern England
Subtitle of host publicationthe journeying play
EditorsClaire Jowitt, David McInnis
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781108557771
ISBN (Print)9781108623803
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

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