Elizabethan Drama, 1558-1642: A History of the Drama in England from the Accession of Queen Elizabeth to the Closing of the Theaters - Vol. 2

By Felix E. Schelling | Go to book overview

XVI THE PASTORAL DRAMA

THE pastoral is a mode of literary expression, not a literary species; a way of regarding life and nature, not a variety of prose or of poetry. Originating in the Italy of the later Renaissance, the pastoral held its own in various forms in verse and prose, in Latin and Italian, from Sannazaro, whose famous prose romance, the Arcadia, was completed in 1489, to Tasso and Guarini, whose pastoral dramas were written in the lifetime of Shakespeare.1 At home the pastoral gave life to the most vital branch of Italian drama; abroad, it influenced every literature of Europe. As an element the pastoral enters widely into the literature of Elizabeth and James, and produces as diverse products as The Shepherds' Calendar, As You Like It, and Lycidas. The pastoral came first into England in eclogue form, in Googe's translation of Mantuan's Latin imitations of Vergil.2 The eclogue reached its height in The Shepherds' Calendar, and was revived in the reign of King James in the "pastorals" of Wither and Browne. The pastoral lyric

and introduc-
tion into
England.

The pastoral a mode; its origin;

____________________
1
Boccaccio foreshadowed the pastoral romance in his Ameto, a story in prose and verse first printed in 1478. See Greg, Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama, 1906, pp. 39-46. This chapter was in the printer's hands before I received a copy of this excellent work.
2
Cf. the Eclogs of Barnaby Googe, 1561; and Turbervile translation of the Eclogues of Mantuan, 1567. See, also, H. O. Sommer , Erster Versüch über die englische Hirtendichtung, Marburg, 1888.

-139-

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Elizabethan Drama, 1558-1642: A History of the Drama in England from the Accession of Queen Elizabeth to the Closing of the Theaters - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents of Volume II v
  • XIII History and Tragedy on Classical Myth and Story 1
  • XIV The College Drama 51
  • XV The English Masque 93
  • XVI The Pastoral Drama 139
  • XVII Tragicomedy and "Romance" 182
  • XVIII Later Comedy of Manners 240
  • XIX Decadent Romance 307
  • XX The Drama in Retrospect 371
  • Bibliographical Essay 433
  • Index 625
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