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Les rites de passages dans The Bellman of London, ou la Confrérie des Gueux selon Thomas Dekker

Abstract : This paper will focus on Thomas Dekker’s The Bellman of London (1608), the first of his beggar book series closely following in the wake of John Awdeley’s, Thomas Harman’s and Robert Greene’s roguery pamphlets. What stands out as Dekker’s original contribution is how he unveils the rituals of a very specific secret counter-society, that of rogues and vagabonds called “the Ragged Regiment” or “the damned fraternity.” Firstly we shall concentrate on Dekker’s mock heroic treatment of the dubbing ceremony and the ensuing revelling as he mingles Christian traditions with topos from knighthood romances. It will then be shown that the marginal fraternity’s rules and values, which are revealed to the newly initiated beggar, may prove imaginary and betray strategies of projection and reappropriation from Dekker’s part. Finally, the narrator-voyeur-informer’s ambiguous role will be questioned to elucidate what the ultimate reasons for the disclosure of this vicarious initiation might be.
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Pascale Drouet. Les rites de passages dans The Bellman of London, ou la Confrérie des Gueux selon Thomas Dekker. XVII-XVIII Revue de la Société d'études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles , Société d'études anglo-américaines des dix-septième et dix-huitième siècles, Lille, 2006, 62 (62), pp.35-49. ⟨10.3406/xvii.2006.2409⟩. ⟨halshs-01831649⟩

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