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Theatre and Humanism

English Drama in the Sixteenth Century

Theatre and Humanism by Kent Cartwright
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English drama at the beginning of the sixteenth century was allegorical, didactic and moralistic; but by the end of the century theatre was censured as emotional and even immoral. How could such a change occur? Kent Cartwright suggests that some theories of early Renaissance theatre - particularly the theory that Elizabethan plays are best seen in the tradition of morality drama - need to be reconsidered. He proposes instead that humanist drama of the sixteenth century is theatrically exciting - rather than literary, elitist and dull as it has often been seen - and socially significant, and he attempts to integrate popular and humanist values rather than setting them against each other. Taking as examples the plays of Marlowe, Heywood, Lyly and Greene, as well as many by lesser-known dramatists, the book demonstrates the contribution of humanist drama to the theatrical vitality of the sixteenth century.
Cambridge University Press; September 1999
333 pages; ISBN 9780511036217
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Title: Theatre and Humanism
Author: Kent Cartwright
 
ISBNs
0511036213
9780511036217
9780521640756