Cosmopolitan Desire and Profitable Performance in The Dutch Courtesan
The Dutch Courtesan reflects on the uses of seduction and desire in commercial culture. The eponymous courtesan Franceschina circulates among foreign clientele; the native conman Cocledemoy accumulates wealth through a range of foreign disguises. Their cosmopolitan appeal to diverse consumers illustrates the dangers of excessive desire linked to an intensifying fashion for foreign commodities in the period. The commodity that is the play itself also capitalizes on similar fascinations of London audiences. Franceschina and Cocledemoy’s explicitly theatrical performances display and satirize how salesmanship – in the form of seduction and trickery – preys on consumer interests to fuel commerce in the global marketplace.
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