This is part of a weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.
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This essay focuses on the name of Shakespeare’s playhouse in light of debates about the difference between globalization and the true worldliness recent philosophers term mondialization. What was in a name, when the actors christened their playing space a theatre of the world? And contrary to those, like the organisers of the 2012 British Museum exhibition ‘Shakespeare Staging the World,’ who imagine this name trumpeted English pride in conquest and exploration, as a symbol of a false universality that flags up the global reach of Anglo-American culture, or even of the BBC, this essay argues that for the dramatist the earthy roundness of ‘the great Globe’ [The Tempest, 4, 1, 149] signalled England’s own difference, in its belatedness, imitativeness, and dependency upon ‘a world elsewhere’ [Coriolanus, 3, 3, 139].