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‘Have you the tongues?’

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Abstract

This essay suggests that, as plays produced in the wake of Henry VIII&#8217;s break with Rome and the Protestant Reformation, two early Shakespearean comedies, <i>The Two Gentlemen of Verona</i> (c. 1590&#8211;91) and <i>Love&#8217;s Labour&#8217;s Lost</i> (c. 1594&#8211;95), engage with multilingualism&#8217;s and translation&#8217;s impact on early modern English identities in striking ways. While these late-sixteenth-century texts are products of a cultural mind-set grappling with the vicissitudes of Englishness via the dramatization of deftly layered social strata and linguistic differences, ultimately, I argue that they simultaneously anticipate cultural accord.

References

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