The essays in this collection, contributed by an internationally distinguished group of scholars, bring up to date many aspects of the criticism of the English Interludes. The development of these plays was a significant part of the history of the growth of English drama in the sixteenth century to the extent that they may be regarded as its main stream. Arising by means of a felicitous combination of the development of printing and the growth of a professional theatre, plays of this type quickly became a forum for the presentation and exploration of many contemporary themes. They became a useful means of disseminating a wide variety of opinions and public concerns as well as exhibiting at times the intellectual brilliance of the Renaissance.
The essays here are concentrated upon power, particularly in its religious and political aspects, gender and theatricality. The political and religious upheavals of the Reformation under the Tudor monarchy form a background as well as a focus at times. In particular the position of women in sixteenth-century society is examined in essays on several plays. There is also discussion of the development of theatrical techniques as playwrights worked closely with small acting companies to reach a wide audience ranging from the royal court to the common streets. This was achieved, as a number of essays make clear, through a variety of entertaining theatrical devices.
Peter HAPPE: Introduction Jean-Paul DEBAX: Complicity and Hierarchy: A Tentative Definition of the Interlude Genus Lynn FOREST-HILL: Maidens and Matrons: The Theatricality of Gender in the Tudor Interludes Peter HAPPE: Skelton's Magnyfycence: Theatre, Poetry, Influence Mike PINCOMBE: Comic Treatment of Tragic Character in Godly Queen Hester Janette DILLON: Powerful Obedience: Godly Queen Hester and Katherine of Aragon Bob GODFREY: Feminine Singularity: The Representation of Young Women in Some Early Tudor Interludes David MILLS: Wit to Woo: The Wit Interludes Dermot CAVANAGH: Reforming Sovereignty: John Bale and Tragic Drama Greg WALKER: Flytyng in the Face of Convention: Protest and Innovation in Lindsay's Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis John J. MCGAVIN: Working Towards a Reformed Identity in Lindsay's Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis Paul Whitfield WHITE: The Pammachius Affair at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1545 Roberta MULLINI: Impatient Poverty: The Intertextual Game of Satire Peter THOMSON: Sound City Jests and Country Pretty Jests: Jack Juggler and Gammer Gurton's Needle Alice HUNT: Legitimacy, Ceremony and Drama: Mary Tudor's Coronation and Respublica David BEVINGTON: Staging the Reformation: Power and Theatricality in the Plays of William Wager