Devised as an entertainment for a Tudor monarch, Galatea might be seen, paradoxically, as a parable for our time. Inhabiting a world engaged in a process of change, the characters find themselves locked in a series of transgressive situations that speak directly to contemporary experience and twenty-first-century critical concerns. Same-sex relationships, shifts of authority, and the destabilization of meaning all lend the play a surprising modernity, making it at once the most accessible of Lyly's plays and the one most frequently performed today.
Designed for the student reader, Leah Scragg's edition offers a range of perspectives on the work. An extensive introduction locates the play in the context of the Elizabethan court, opening a window onto a kind of drama very different from that of more familiar sixteenth-century writers, such as Marlowe and Shakespeare. The latter's indebtedness to the play is fully documented, while detailed critical and performance histories allow an insight into the work's susceptibility to reinterpretation. -- .
Leah Scragg is an Honoarary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures at the University of Manchester -- .
INTRODUCTION Language and structure: from a prose style to a dramatic mode Ovid and Virgil The pastoral convention and the cult of the Virgin Queen Lylian drama and the Boys of St Paul's Lyly and Shakespeare Galatea on stage Galatea and its readers This edition and the editorial history of the play GALATEA -- .