Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.554580
Title: From Cyrus to Abbas : staging Persia in Early Modern England
Author: Masood, Hafiz Abid
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
This thesis considers the different ways Persia was perceived in early modern England. Persia, understudied in recent scholarship, played an important role in the early modern English imagination, both as a classical civilization and as a counterweight to the Ottoman threat to Christendom. This classical heritage and anti-Ottomanism, when intersected with a Persian Muslim identity, resulted in a complex phenomenon. This thesis is an attempt to understand the various cross currents that constructed this complex image. Chapter One discusses English interest in classical Persian themes in the wake of Renaissance humanism. It focuses on three classical ‘Persian' plays featuring Achaemenid Kings; Cambyses, Darius and Cyrus, and investigates how classical Persia became a focus of interest for Elizabethan playwrights. Chapter Two moves to the wars between the Ottomans and Safavids and how they fascinated many English writers of the time. Paying specific attention to Usumcasane in Marlowe's Tambulaine plays, the chapter suggests the significance of Persian references in the play and offers a new interpretation of the notorious Qur'an burning scene. Chapter Three analyses John Thomas Minadoi's Historie of Warres betweene the Turkes and the Persians and shows the significance of Christian knowledge of schism in Islam for Catholic-Protestant debates. Chapter Four concentrates on the representation of Persia in Romance texts from late Elizabethan England and shows that despite being hailed as an anti-Ottoman power, Persia's anti-Christian Islamic identity, which was also suggested by Minadoi, becomes manifest in the alliance of ‘Sultan' and ‘Sophy' against the Crusaders. Chapter Five combines two crucial moments in Anglo-Persian encounters: Jenkinson's trading mission and the ‘travailes” of the Sherley brothers. Through an analysis of the play The Travailes of the Three English Brothers, the argument of the chapter is that it represents the cumulative experience of Englishmen in Persia in the early modern period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.554580  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater ; PR0421 Elizabethan era (1550-1640) ; PR0621 Drama
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