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Tragical-Comical-Pastoral-Colonial: Economic Sovereignty, Globalization, and the Form of Tragicomedy
ELH (2007)
  • Zachary Lesser, University of Pennsylvania
I examine the politics of tragicomedy by focusing on its 1620s shift from pastoral to proto-colonial settings. This formal transformation reveals the genre's connection to economic debates over England's coin shortage and to Thomas Mun's abstract, global model of trade, removed from monarchical authority and naturalized in self-regulating "laws of commerce." Like Mun's model, tragicomedy requires us to imagine the ability of past actions and distant causes to ramify across time and space. Set on a barren, inaccessible island, Fletcher and Massinger's Sea Voyage isolates the nature of money and demonstrates the dangers of transgressing the natural law of commerce.
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Zachary Lesser. "Tragical-Comical-Pastoral-Colonial: Economic Sovereignty, Globalization, and the Form of Tragicomedy" ELH Vol. 74 (2007)
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