'O Brave New World'

The Tempest and Peter Martyr's De Orbe Novo

in Critical Survey
Author:
Roger StritmatterCoppin State University rstritmatter@coppin.edu

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Lynne KositskyIndependent writer

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In recent years the concept of early modern ‘source studies’ has undergone a sea change, with profound but underestimated implications for Tempest scholarship: ‘Where once it was assumed the term[source] could apply only to those texts with demonstrable verbal connection, critics [now insist]…upon the dialogue that an individual text conducts both with its recognisable sources and analogues, and with the wider culture within which it functioned’. Coincident with this widening of critical focus to include the circulation of motifs and ideas throughout the wider culture of early modern Europe has been the emergence of a renewed emphasis on the Mediterranean contexts – both literary and historical – that have shaped the imaginative topography of Shakespeare’s play.After decades of the dominance of Americanist readings, there is now a renewed appreciation for the topographical complexity of Shakespeare’s imaginative landscape.

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