The Tudor Drama: A History of English National Drama to the Retirement of Shakespeare

The Tudor Drama: A History of English National Drama to the Retirement of Shakespeare

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The Tudor Drama: A History of English National Drama to the Retirement of Shakespeare

The Tudor Drama: A History of English National Drama to the Retirement of Shakespeare

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Excerpt

The following pages have grown out of a series of lectures on "The Sources of the Elizabethan Drama," given in 1908 at Magdalen College, Oxford. To the members of that society are due the author's grateful acknowledgments for stimulus and opportunity. In the present volume very few words remain as they were first written. The scope of the book has been considerably broadened and its commencement pushed back beyond the reign of Elizabeth. It is believed, however, that the point of view expressed in the title of the lectures has been retained, and it is hoped that the original aim of tracing the genesis and development of the various types of Tudor drama will be found still to justify the method of treatment.

It is probably not hard to defend the chronological limits and the title of this essay. There would seem to be a practical convenience in a treatment commencing with the earliest evidences of English national drama and closing with the highest accomplishment of that drama in the work of Shakespeare. Nor does it appear a gross exaggeration to include this entire evolution within the confines of "The Tudor Drama"; for though most of the specimens discussed in the first two chapters had their original inception in the century before the Tudor era began, there can be no doubt that they still remained at the opening of our period the most characteristic expressions of English dramatic genius . . .

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