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An inquiry into the cultural and political influences of English engagement with the Muslims of Morocco and the Ottoman Empire, in the writings of three Early Modern dramatists, and selected pamphleteers in the years between 1578-1649

Collins, Thomas Richard Henry (2016) An inquiry into the cultural and political influences of English engagement with the Muslims of Morocco and the Ottoman Empire, in the writings of three Early Modern dramatists, and selected pamphleteers in the years between 1578-1649. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study focuses on the cultural and political circumstances of the Early Modern era in the years between 1578- 1649. 1578 marks the crucially significant events of the Battle of Alcazar in North Africa, and 1649 is the year of Charles I’s death, marking the decisive end of the Caroline monarchy and thus my period of study. With this thesis, I work to highlight the varying diplomatic stand points held by Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I of England with the Muslims of Morocco and the Ottoman Empire. In doing this, it is possible to trace how each individual monarch’s cross-cultural diplomacy is reflected in the literature of the period. By focusing on both a variety of pamphlets, as well as the dramatic work of three Early Modern dramatists, I work to establish that the literature written under the rule of Elizabeth I, portrays Muslims and the Islamic world in a favourable light, therefore mirroring the strong political and mercantile relationship held between England and the Muslim world at this time. James and Charles I however held a far more Eurocentric world view which did not include a place for Islam. James aimed to consolidate relations with Spain, and the volatile European climate of the early seventeenth century forced Charles to focus inwardly as well. Consequently these factors, in addition to a variable nexus of socio-political and historical circumstances distanced England from the Kingdom of Morocco and the Ottoman Empire. The collapse of Anglo- Islamic relations ultimately resulted in the representation of Muslim characters and the Islamic world to fray heavily. What was once portrayed as admiration and respect, descended to mistrust and hatred under the reign of James I and Charles I, and I work to show that this political degeneration is reflected in the pamphlets and the drama which emerged during this period.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Mr Thomas Richard Henry Collins
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 11:11
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 11:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17412

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