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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Elizabeth and the Status of Players
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0934  Thursday, 3 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 02 Jun 1999 07:26:51 PDT
        Subj:   Elizabeth and the Status of Players

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 03 Jun 1999 05:22:31 PDT
        Subj:   I miscited: Elizabeth and Theater


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 02 Jun 1999 07:26:51 PDT
Subject:        Elizabeth and the Status of Players

Robin Hamilton makes a useful distinction between the legal and moral
status of the actors. I would add that the moral opposition to the
theater was not always Puritan, and the Puritan response to the theater
was not always opposition. In recent criticism, certain playwrights are
now being regarded as Puritans themselves, among them Webster, Dekker,
Middleton, and perhaps Thomas Heywood.

Regarding Elizabeth's reaction to theater, I read somewhere that
Elizabeth even performed some roles in plays staged at the court.
Looking it up, I recall the article was Patrick Cheney's "Moll Cutpurse
as Hermaphrodite and Middleton's The Roaring Girl," Renaissance and
Reformation 7 (1983): 120-134. I would be interested in what further
verification, if any, can be given for Elizabeth's acting career.

Jack Heller

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 03 Jun 1999 05:22:31 PDT
Subject:        I miscited: Elizabeth and Theater

Mea culpa, mea culpa! In a previous posting, I cited Patrick Cheney's
article "Moll Cutpurse as Hermaphrodite" for comments involving
Elizabeth taking a role on the stage. Cheney's article is very good for
exploring the influence of The Faerie Queene on Jacobean drama. However,
the proper citation for my source is Lorraine Helms' "Roaring Girls and
Silent Women: The Politics of Androgyny on the Jacobean Stage." This can
be found on pages 59-73 in Women in Theatre, ed. James Redmond,
Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Helms, citing Stephen Orgel, notes that Elizabeth sat on the stage when
plays were presented in the court, and she may have been part of the
action for both The Arraignment of Paris and Every Man Out of His
Humour. Helms' citation of Orgel is to The Illusion of Power, University
of California Press, 1975, page 10.

I apologize for my error.

Jack Heller

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