This essay looks at John Marston's most accessible comedy, ＂The Dutch Courtesan＂ (1605). The main plot is derived from a French romance by Nicolas de Montreux. In addition, over twenty set speeches in the comedy are quotes or paraphrases of Montaigne's essays in John Florio's English translation. In fact, the majority of Renaissance English dramas were translations, adaptations, or reworking of Latin, French, and Italian plays, short stories, and histories. In this play Marston is more explicit than other playwrights about the importance of European imports in English life, situating the plot in the London where foreigners and foreign merchandise form part of the fabric of urban living. Without actually declaring his play an import, Marston nevertheless makes the reception of what comes from abroad a major concern in this comedy. A close examination of the play reveals how the playwright envisages the place and function of foreign influences in the theatre and the playgoing society.
淡江外語論叢=Tamkang Studies of Foreign Languages and Literatures