Early Responses to Renaissance Drama
It is often assumed that we can never know how the earliest audiences responded to the plays and playbooks of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and other Renaissance dramatists. In this study, old compilations of early modern dramatic allusions provide the surprising key to understanding pre-1660 reception. Whether or not it begins with powerful emotion, that reception creatively applies and appropriates the copious resources of drama for diverse purposes, lessons, and interests. Informed also by critical theory and historical research, this understanding reveals the significance of response to Tamburlaine and Falstaff as well as the importance of drama to Edmund Spenser, John Donne, John Milton, and many others. It makes possible the study of particular responses of women and of workers and contributes to the history of subjectivity, reading, civil society, and aesthetics, and demands a fresh view of dramatic production.
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admiration afﬁrms allusion Anne Murray apprentice audience members authority become beneﬁt Blackfriars bliss Catiline challenge character Cleopatra commodity conﬁrmed context critical Davies Davies’s deﬁned developed Drake dramatic early modern Edmund Gayton effect efﬁgy experience Falstaff Faustus Faustus’s female festive ﬁgure ﬁnally ﬁnds ﬁrst ﬁt Fitzgeoffery Fletcher’s Forman Gayton God’s groundling Hamlet Henry Henry IV plays Heywood’s Humorous Lieutenant identiﬁes inﬂected inﬂuence Inns of Court interpretation John’s Jonson King King’s Lanyer’s liberated Ligon London Love’s Labour’s Lost lover Marlowe’s marriage Masque master Milton moral Murray’s Nashe Nashe’s Norwood ofﬁcial Oldcastle orature Osborne Osborne’s passion performance play’s players playgoers playgoing pleasure poem poet political popular Prince puritan readers reading reception reﬂection reformed aesthetic religious resistance response Richard Richard II play Richard III role satire scene scourge sense Shakespeare signiﬁcant Sir John social sonnet speciﬁc Spenser’s stage Tamburlaine plays Taylor theatre theatre’s theatrical thou traditional Tragedy women