The Queen's Men and Their Plays

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Cambridge University Press, May 28, 1998 - Drama - 253 pages
This is the first book devoted to the Queen's Men, one of the major acting companies of the age of Shakespeare. In describing the troupe's position in the general political situation and the London theatre scene of the 1580s, the authors break new ground, showing how Elizabethan theatre history can be refocused by concentrating on the company which produced the plays rather than on the authors who wrote them. Chapters detail the political context in which the Queen's Men were formed; the motives of the Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Walsingham, and others instrumental in forming the company; the players' national tours; their impact on the commercial theatre of London; the staging of plays and the nature of the texts sent to the printer. A final chapter considers the company's relationships with the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare, and explores the possibility that Shakespeare began his career writing for the Queen's Men.
 

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Contents

Leicester and Walsingham
18
The career of the Queens Men
37
The Queens Men in print
84
Casting and the nature of the texts
97
Dramaturgy
121
Marlowe and Shakespeare
155
the Queens Men
170
Queens Men
194
Bibliography
227
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