Multilingualism in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
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This essay suggests that, as plays produced in the wake of Henry VIII’s break with Rome and the Protestant Reformation, two early Shakespearean comedies, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (c. 1590–91) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (c. 1594–95), engage with multilingualism’s and translation’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. — Keywords: Shakespearean comedy; the Reformation; identity politics in Elizabethan England; social exclusion; friendship We only ever speak one language […] — (yes, but) — We never speak only one language… (Jacques Derrida 1998: 10)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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