Theatre and Humanism: English Drama in the Sixteenth Century

By Kent Cartwright | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Afterword

Although this book is primarily about the drama of the sixteenth century, it is also about our contradictory perceptions of that drama in the twentieth century. Besides pondering the conflict between earlier humanist and later morality theories, present students of Tudor drama must face the problem of discussing literary history itself. While I have wanted to see sixteenth-century drama as exploring some characteristic dramaturgical problems throughout the era, I have also viewed drama, for certain purposes, as changing in the course of the century from one attitude to another. Thus, for example, while these chapters pursue recurring interests in enigma, doubt, and confusion, the discussion of female characters argues that a possibility in representation emerged by the end of the century that existed only inchoately at the beginning. I find myself wanting to claim that both perspectives–a certain repetition and a certain newness–are true. This paradox, I believe, can be defended logically–it may even be a way of making sense in the present intellectual climate–but it will really be plausible only as the chapters that advance it have been convincing.

At the outset of this project, I thought that I was simply writing about plays that seemed fascinating, but I now recognize that the “present intellectual climate” has affected the book far more than I first suspected. Somewhere along the line, challenging the thesis that the popular tradition was separate from, even superior to, the learned tradition came to possess a certain urgency. Teaching in a university adjacent to the capital of the United States makes it impossible to ignore the assault upon national funding for the arts and humanities, upon élite culture, and upon higher education in general and humanities professors in particular. Simultaneously, Western societies have witnessed an unprecedented celebration of

-247-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Theatre and Humanism: English Drama in the Sixteenth Century
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 321

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?