Shakespeare's Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom

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Princeton University Press, 1959 - Drama - 265 pages
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" I have been led into an exploration of the way the social form of Elizabethan holidays contributed to the dramatic form of festive comedy. To relate this drama to holiday has proved to be the most effective way to describe its character. And this historical interplay between social and artistic form has an interest of its own: we can see here, with more clarity of outline and detail than is usually possible, how art develops underlying configurations in the social life of a culture."--C. L. Barber, in the Introduction

  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION THE SATURNALIAN PATTERN
3
Through Release to Clarification
6
Shakespeares Route to Festive Comedy
11
HOLIDAY CUSTOM AND ENTERTAINMENT
16
The May Game
18
The Lord of Misrule
24
Aristocratic Entertainments
30
MISRULE AS COMEDY COMEDY AS MISRULE
36
the Ironic Wit
139
the Ironic Burlesque
148
The Sense of Reality
157
THE MERCHANTS AND THE JEW OF VENICE WEALTHS COMMUNION AND AN INTRUDER
163
Making Distinctions about the Use of Riches
166
Transcending Reckoning at Belmont
174
ComicalMenacing Mechanism in Shylock
177
The Community Setting Aside Its Machinery
184

License and Lese Majesty in Lincolnshire
37
The May Game of Martin Marprelate
51
PROTOTYPES OF FESTIVE COMEDY IN A PAGEANT ENTERTAINMENT SUMMERS LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
58
Presenting the Mirth of the Occasion
61
Bacchus and Falstaff
67
Festive Abuse
73
Go not yet away bright soul of the sad year
79
THE FOLLY OF WIT AND MASQUERADE IN LOVES LABOURS LOST
87
lose our oaths to find ourselves
88
sport by sport oerthrown
93
a great feast of languages
95
Wit
99
Putting Witty Folly in Its Place
103
WhenThenThe Seasonal Songs
113
MAY GAMES AND METAMORPHOSES ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT
119
The Fond Pageant
124
Bringing in Summer to the Bridal
132
Sharing in the Grace of Life
186
RULE AND MISRULE IN HENRY IV
192
Mingling Kings and Clowns
195
Getting Rid of Bad Luck by Comedy
205
The Trial of Carnival in Part Two
213
THE ALLIANCE OF SERIOUSNESS AND LEVITY IN AS YOU LIKE IT
222
The Liberty of Arden
223
Counterstatements
226
all nature in love mortal in folly
229
TESTING COURTESY AND HUMANITY IN TWELFTH NIGHT
240
A most extracting frenzy
242
You are betrothd both to a maid and man
245
Liberty Testing Courtesy
248
Outside the Garden Gate
257
INDEX
263
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