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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1491  Friday, 11 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Andrew W. White <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 13:00:43 -0400
        Subj:   Tudor Iconoclasm

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 20:48:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1476 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew W. White <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 13:00:43 -0400
Subject:        Tudor Iconoclasm

Many thanks for the replies, both on and off-list.  And apologies for
not sharing the name of the presenter last time; my copy of the ATHE
conference program was temporarily in hiding, so now I can share more
information.  The presenter's name was Mark C. Pilkinton, from Note
Dame.  I believe he's been working from the archives in Bristol, UK, for
many years and he based his findings (which I summarized) to some degree
on what he found there.

He made mention that the pageant wagons were actually brought out once
or twice for special occasions, long after their occasional ban.  Not
sure what the circumstances were, but it's interesting that items like
these were kept in storage for years, instead of merely being
dismantled.

I'm all for further discussion, although my contributions would be of a
more Byzantine nature -- quotes from John of Damascus, i.e., "In the
word, heresy; in the image, truth."

Andrew White
Arlington, VA

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Aug 2000 20:48:02 -0400
Subject: 11.1476 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1476 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

Geralyn Horton asks:

>I for one would be interested in an on list exploration of this topic.
>Perferably, of couse, one carried on not as scholarly sharing of
>bibliographical info, but a discussion of what is known and what you who
>know it think it means.

The central figure in Huston Diehl's argument is John Foxe, the
martyrologist. Diehl argues that Foxe's Acts and Monuments is
paradigmatic for both its drama and its iconoclasm. Curiously she
doesn't note that Foxe himself was literally a dramatist, though not a
very successful one. Her argument seems to work best with those
dramatists who favor bloody or revenge tragedies, Webster, Kyd,
Middleton. In her fourth chapter, she notes the re-creation of
eucharistic controversies in The Spanish Tragedy, Women Beware Women,
and The Revenger's Tragedy. While I like her readings of Othello and
Hamlet, she doesn't give enough consideration to the arguments that
Shakespeare was a recusant Catholic.

One of Diehl's strongest comments, however, appears with a mention of
Midsummer's Night's Dream. Discussing the distinction of representation
and presentation as axiomatic for the early modern Protestant poetics of
drama:

"In observing a theatrical performance by an acting company such as the
Lord Chamberlain's Men, the spectators must recognize (as the
Mechanicals in *A Midsummer's Night's Dream* are so anxious to
demonstrate) that what they see is a representation, and not the literal
presence of what is represented. They must consciously accept the
illusory nature of theatrical images and yet believe in the figurative
truth of those very images." (Diehl, *Staging Reform, Reforming the
Stage*, 98).

I would argue that this statement can apply as well to Middleton and
Dekker's The Roaring Girl.

Jack Heller
 

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