‘This Prison Where I Live’: Ireland Takes Centre Stage
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Although never visibly staged, Ireland plays a critical role in monarchic succession in Shakespeare's histories. Through two complementary offstage phenomena, the ‘spectral’ and the ‘obscene’, this article reveals how Ireland imprisons England. In 2 Henry VI, Ireland's spectral presence provides York with the ideal space from which to foment rebellion and challenge Henry VI. In Richard II, by contrast, Richard heads to Ireland to quell rebellion; however, Richard's trip leads to his enforced abdication. Richard, imprisoned, is caught between an obscene state of exclusion and the spectral world beyond the prison walls: Ireland, crucially, is shown to imprison England's imagination.
Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies;
Collins, N. (2015) '‘This Prison Where I Live’: Ireland Takes Centre Stage', Cahiers Élisabéthains, 88(1), pp.125-138. DOI: 10.7227/CE.88.1.9.
Article published in Cahiers Élisabéthains on 01 Ocober 2015, available at: https://doi.org/10.7227/CE.88.1.9.
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