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20 Pages

Introduction: ‘To England send him’: Repatriating Shakespeare

ByWilly Maley, Margaret Tudeau-Clayton

The aspiration to a normative ideological centre of the trueborn Englishman through exclusion of what he is not is analogous as well as temporally coincident with the aspiration to a normative linguistic centre of 'the King's English'. More recently the motley character of the English has again been mobilized against xenophobia as well as to promote a unity of heterogeneous multiplicity. The author argues precisely the division fostered by the emergent, protestant bourgeois ideological structure that informs the discourses on the character and history of the English evoked in the speeches by the father and uncle of the 'trueborn Englishman'. This instance is important not only because of the implied general dissemination of the figure of the motley dressed Englishman as an object of a violently exclusionary rhetoric. But also because with it this rhetoric and the ideology it carries, acquires the coercive force of institutionalized authority.