Elizabethan Comic Character Conventions as Revealed in the Comedies of George Chapman

Elizabethan Comic Character Conventions as Revealed in the Comedies of George Chapman

Elizabethan Comic Character Conventions as Revealed in the Comedies of George Chapman

Elizabethan Comic Character Conventions as Revealed in the Comedies of George Chapman

Excerpt

It is probable that the comic writers of the Elizabethan period were students of technique, that the workshops of the theaters were to some extent schools where men studied and applied the known rules of a craft. An examination of the accepted devices throws much light upon the conditions of sixteenth-century dramatic composition, and need not interfere with one's admiration for the frequently beautiful poetry, solid philosophy, and humane emotionalism to be found in the works of the old playwrights. It should be added that many, perhaps all, of the conventions presented in this analysis of comedy are observable in tragedy as well.

The present study is a development of certain sections from a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy in the University of Michigan. Though conscious of more obligations than can well be expressed, the writer is especially grateful to two scholars, members of the Department of English Language and Literature at that university: Professor Morris P. Tilley, whose friendly and mature counsel has been of inestimable value, and Professor Oscar James Campbell, under whose guidance this investigation was originally planned and through whose encouragement and intelligent criticism it has taken form. Most sincere thanks likewise are due to the editor, Dr. Eugene S. McCartney, for painstaking suggestions on numerous details of mechanical form, and to the Executive Board of the Graduate School for its generosity in providing for the printing of this volume.

P. V. K.

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