Brief Description of Course: The Tudors, who ruled England from 1485 to 1603, employed a range of strategies to consolidate prestige in the Crown, and thus in London. By 1603, London-based styles and conventions, particularly in dramatic performances, had largely eclipsed a diversity of other regional performance traditions, some of which faded away, and others of which were forcibly prohibited. But throughout the sixteenth century, even as the first commercial theaters began to pop up around London, marking an apparent renaissance of classical forms, other regions in England were performing plays in ways that might strike us as more medieval.
Our course in Drama to 1603 will cover performance texts and traditions inside and outside London—with frequent reference to the Records of Early English Drama, our readings will be organized by geography rather than chronology, taking us not only to Tudor-era London but also through fifteenth-century Cheshire, Yorkshire, East Anglia, Cambridgeshire, and Central Scotland. The plays we discuss will, appropriately, often be concerned with power, tyranny, violence, and upheaval.
Required Reading: Anon., The Digby Conversion of Saint Paul and Killing of the Children; Medwall, Fulgens and Lucres; Marlowe, Edward II; Shakespeare, Richard III; Stevenson, Gammer Gurton’s Needle; Lindsay, Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis; Anon., The Enterlude of Godly Queene Hester; Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy; selections from the Chester plays: Anon., Balaam through Innocents; selections from the York and Towneley plays: Anon., Second Shepherds, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Judgment; assorted short Robin Hood plays (Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham; Robin Hood and the Friar, Robin Hood and the Potter).
First Three Authors/Texts: TBA.
Method of Evaluation: Two tests; two written assignments TBA; informed participation.
Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.
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