By Jeffrey Knapp
What prompted England's literary renaissance? One solution has been such exceptional advancements because the eu discovery of the USA. but England within the 16th century used to be faraway from an increasing state. not just did the Tudors lose England's sole last possessions at the Continent and, due to the Reformation, develop spiritually divided from the Continent to boot, yet each one in their makes an attempt to colonize the hot global truly failed. Jeffrey Knapp debts for this unusual mixture of literary growth and nationwide isolation by way of displaying how the English made a advantage in their expanding insularity. Ranging throughout a wide range of literary and extraliterary assets, Knapp argues that English poets rejected the worldly acquisitiveness of an empire like Spain's and took satisfaction in England's fabric boundaries as an indication of its religious energy. within the imaginary worlds of such fictions as Utopia , The Faerie Queene , and The Tempest , they sought a grander empire, based at the ''otherworldly'' virtues of either England and poetry itself.
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Additional resources for An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest
Like the other features of the poem that oppose England to Spain's imperial sun, this moon seems from one perspective to betray Wyatt's worries about an England that time has passed by, but from another to extend the imperial argument begun with Brutus, for the goddess of the wastelands who sends Brutus his dreams is also known as the goddess of the moon. Such an unstressed slide in the poem from one aspect of the triple Hecate to another helps account for Wyatt's interest in her: Diana, inhabiting three worlds at once, compensates for the geographical constraint toward which Wyatt drives.
A gentleman unhappily associated by name with the memory of American brutishness, one Mr. Butts, "was so changed in the voyage with hunger and misery, that Sir William his father and my Lady his mother knew him not to be their son, until they found a secret mark which was a wart upon one of his knees" (7). This apocryphal-sounding recognition scene seems to have an earlier much-suffering homecomer in mind, though how pathetically even in fabling their rediscovery of England do the English make themselves heroes: the famous boar-scar of Odysseus becomes a wart.
74 In the Wyatt family, Wyatt's father seems to have pioneered this backward mode of self-idealization. The story goes that once, during the two years Richard III imprisoned, and occasionally racked, Sir Henry Wyatt for his allegiance to Henry VIII's father, Richard demanded of him, "Why art thou such a fool? Thou servest for moonshine in the water. Thy master is a beggarly fugitive. Forsake him and become mine. I can reward thee, and I swear unto thee I will" (quoted in Muir, Life and Letters, 1).
An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest by Jeffrey Knapp