Building a Wall Around Tudor England: Coastal Forts and Fantasies of Border Control in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay

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Abstract

This article examines the border wall and the image of fortress England in Robert Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay and early 1590s nationalist discourse. While Greene recognizes the need for an international outlook in geopolitics, Bacon’s wall speaks to contemporary interest in coastal fortifications and brass ordnance in the wake of the Spanish Armada. Greene lampoons the wall as magical thinking, but the play clings to metaphorical walls as more cost-effective symbols of national security and autonomy. The play’s awkward combination of pan-European sentiment and strident nationalism offers a prophetic commentary on post-Brexit Britain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Theatre
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2019

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Nationalists
Fantasy
Symbol
1590s
National Security
Sentiment
Nationalism
England
Discourse
Brass
Fortress
Geopolitics
Coast
Costs
Fortification
Autonomy
Forts

Cite this

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