Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England

Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England is a magazine focusing on Arts

Articles from Vol. 18, Annual

Better a Shrew Than a Sheep: Women, Drama, and the Culture of Jest in Early Modern England
Better a Shrew than a Sheep: Women, Drama, and the Culture of Jest in Early Modern England, by Pamela Allen Brown. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2003. Pp. xi + 263. Cloth $ 49.95. Paper $ 19.95. It is a truth universally acknowledged,...
Building Playhouses, the Accession of James I, and the Red Bull
FOUR hundred years after the event seems a convenient time to ask whether the accession of James I on March 24, 1603, affected the schemes of people who built (or, more accurately, caused to be built) the professional London playhouses that comprised...
Edward Alleyn, the New Model Actor, and the Rise of the Celebrity in the 1590s
Introduction IT has become commonplace to speak of the 1590s as a time when the capitalist playhouse had become a relatively stable economic institution. To be sure, the period between 1590 and 1600 was an auspicious decade, not only for playhouse...
"Honesty and Vulgar Praise": The Poet's War and the Literary Field
IN works such as Distinction, The Field of Cultural Production, and The Rules of Art, Pierre Bourdieu argues that the determination of the value of an artwork is structured by a series of paired oppositions--high, low; avant-garde, bourgeois; popular,...
"Maluolio Within": Acting on the Threshold between Onstage and Offstage Spaces
IN his article, "Malvolio and the Dark House," John H. Astington deals with problems of staging Malvolio's imprisonment in Twelfth Night, 4.2. (1) The F1 text, which is the sole authority for the play, places the stage direction "Maluolio within" (TLN...
Marlowe, Company Ownership, and the Role of Edward II
THE company ownership of most of Marlowe's plays, most of the time, is not a problem for theater historians. The problem lies a bit deeper. We know, for example, that the Admiral's Men owned the two Tamburlaine plays because of the title-page advertisement...
Marlowe's Staging of Meaning
IN his preface to the collection "A Poet and a filthy Play-maker" Kenneth Friedenreich remarks that for a long time criticism of Marlowe's plays focused on his abilities as a poet rather than as a playwright, and that not until the late twentieth century...
"Speaking Some Words, but of No Importance"? Stage Directions, Thomas Heywood, and Edward IV
IN 1635, approaching the end of a career in the theater that had already spanned more than forty years, Thomas Heywood interrupted the bizarre concoction of folklore and spiritual wisdom he called The Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells to deliver an...
Theatres and Encyclopedias in Early Modern Europe
Theatres and Encyclopedias in Early Modern Europe, by William N. West. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. xv + 293. Cloth $65.00. Most readers will open this volume, I suspect, with some version of the question I brought to it: How...
The Protestant Context of George Peele's "Pleasant Conceited" Old Wives Tale
THE first eight decades of scholarship on The Old Wives Tale left us with a play that is a naive and pleasant conceited comedy, or a satire of romantic comedies, or a flawed representation of the language, methods, and ethos of folk literature. (1)...
"To Passe the See in Shortt Space": Mapping the World in the Digby Mary Magdalen
THE world as seen from medieval England was largely a spiritual construct. The only sense of distant lands commonly available was derived from pilgrimage accounts and from the occasional world map seen on public display in a cathedral or Bible. And...
"Veniance, Lord, Apon Thaym Fall": Maternal Mourning, Divine Justice, and Tragedy in the Corpus Christi Plays
SCHOLARS have long recognized that medieval concepts of reciprocal justice and divine retribution underpin the dramatic patterns of the Herod plays. (1) However, they have overlooked the evidence suggesting that this ethical design is embodied in the...
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