This text defines the Shakespearean canon, from "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" to "The Two Noble Kinsmen". It traces the influences on the drama of exile, examining the legal context of banishment (pursued against Catholics, gypsies and vagabonds) in early modern England; the self-consciousness of exile as an amatory trope; and the discourses by which exile could be reshaped into comedy or tragedy. Across genres, Shakespeare's plays reveal a fascination with exile as the source of linguistic crisis, shaped by the utterance of the word "banished".
JANE KINGSLEY-SMITH completed her PhD at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, and is now Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Hull. She has published a number of articles on Shakespeare and on his representation in film, and her wider research interests include the eighteenth-century novel and the works of Iris Murdoch.