9780521640756

Theatre and Humanism: English Drama in the Sixteenth Century

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521640756

  • ISBN10:

    052164075X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1999-10-13
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

English drama at the beginning of the sixteenth century was allegorical, didactic and moralistic; but by the end of the century theatre was censured as emotional and even immoral. How could such a change occur? Kent Cartwright suggests that some theories of early Renaissance theatre - particularly the theory that Elizabethan plays are best seen in the tradition of morality drama - need to be reconsidered. He proposes instead that humanist drama of the sixteenth century is theatrically exciting - rather than literary, elitist and dull as it has often been seen - and socially significant, and he attempts to integrate popular and humanist values rather than setting them against each other. Taking as examples the plays of Marlowe, Heywood, Lyly and Greene, as well as many by lesser-known dramatists, the book demonstrates the contribution of humanist drama to the theatrical vitality of the sixteenth century.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1(24)
The humanism of acting: John Heywood's The Foure PP
25(24)
Wit and Science and the dramaturgy of learning
49(26)
Playing against type: Gammer Gurton's Needle
75(25)
Time, tyranny, and suspense in political drama of the 1560s
100(35)
Humanism and the dramatizing of women
135(32)
The confusions of Gallathea: John Lyly as popular dramatist
167(27)
Bearing witness to Tamburlaine, Part I
194(28)
Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay: the commonwealth of the present moment
222(27)
Afterword
247(2)
Notes 249(64)
Index 313

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