Shakespeare, Spenser and the Contours of Britain : Reshaping the Atlantic Archipelago
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Issues of gender, religion, and landscape in the works of Shakespeare and Spenser are examined through the lens of colonialism and national identity in this literary critical analysis. This period in early modern English literature is marked by a redefinition of what it means to be British, and close readings of the texts reveal Spenser's developing (and ambivalent) sense of Irishness and Shakespeare's alleged Catholic recusancy. The relationship between biographical details and imaginative writing reveal the conflicting issues of literary reputation and identity that make discussions of nationalism so complex. Pastoralism versus ruralism and internal insurrection versus foreign invasion are among the themes discussed.