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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1556  Tuesday, 22 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Aug 2000 12:29:26 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Aug 2000 20:02:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Aug 2000 12:29:26 -0400
Subject: 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

Dear Clifford Stetner:

The problem with your chronology, as with most quickly surmised
"evolutionary" theories of developments in drama, is A) that the
"morality" plays, as we call them, are a different genre of drama from
the so-called "mystery plays."  [Look for the heirs of the mysteries in
Shakespeare's history plays, not in Tudor moralities, whether Puritan or
not] and B) the chronology is wrong anyway.  Sixteenth century EVERYMAN,
it is commonly known, is a translation from a Dutch play; MANKIND was
almost certainly written in the fifteenth century, and while WISDOM is
later than usually thought (probably an early Tudor play), it was
without question written before the end of the fifteenth century,
probably in the 1480s.  You might want to take a look at the chronology
and discussion of genre in my edition of WISDOM [THE PLAY OF WISDOM:
ITS TEXTS AND CONTEXTS, AMS Press, 1999], but there are also tons of
other materials that focus on this chronology; the earliest and still
one of the best David Bevington's FROM MANKIND TO MARLOWE.  [By the by,
THE CASTLE OF PERSEVERANCE may, as is commonly thought, have been
written as early as 1425; I'm not too sure about that date, but it's a
possibility.]

I'd suggest that you look before you leap into making assumptions about
cause and effect.

Best,
Milla Riggio

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Aug 2000 20:02:45 -0400
Subject: 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

Clifford Stetner wrote:

>Besides Ben Jonson, I think it would also be instructive (for both
>questions of arteology and iconoclasm) to trace the progression from
>Catholic mystery plays to Puritan morality plays.

Something of this progression is developed in Paul Whitfield White's
monograph *Theatre and Reformation: Protestantism, Patronage, and
Playing Tudor England* (Cambridge UP, 1993). Among the playwrights White
discusses is John Bale. Since it has been some time since I read White's
text, I don't remember what he says of Bale's play *King Johan.*
However, a contrast between Bale's play and Shakespeare's *King John*
might plausibly be informed by attention to John Foxe's hagiography of
King John and his iconoclasm. Has any study been done on Foxe and
Shakespeare?

Jack Heller
 

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