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A Cultural Studies Approach to Two Exotic Citizen Romances by Thomas Heywood

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Joseph Courtland

Modern literary scholars have, for the most part, devoted little critical attention to that remarkable group of romance dramas featuring citizen heroes that flourished during the late Elizabethan period. Joseph Courtland’s in-depth study remedies the situation by providing a fresh, cultural studies approach to this innovative hybrid of chivalric romance, viewing such adventure plays as literary works of colonial discourse within the mode of fantasy. Based principally on an approach to early modern romance as fantasy suggested by the writings of Tzvetan Todorov, Frederic Jameson, and Rosemary Jackson, the methodology employed in the analysis also incorporates the cultural materialist notion of Renaissance romance as colonial discourse.