The Masque

  • Richard Dutton
Part of the Teaching the New English book series (TENEEN)


No aspect of early modern drama better reflects the changes in the ways we study Shakespeare and his contemporaries than the court masque, that arcane and elaborate form of entertainment which featured in court life from the time of Henry VIII but flourished most particularly in the reigns of James I and Charles I. As recently as 1995, David Lindley could write that “despite a thin trickle of major studies over the years, the court masque remains marginal to the study of the great age of English drama.”1 Yet the volume in which that remark appeared partly belied it: a selection of eighteen masques, published by a major press and aimed to sell to students in paperback. Thirty years before it would have been unthinkable. What changed?


Female Performance Sexual Politics Public Theatre Henry VIII Modern Language Association 
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Selective guide to further reading and resources

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© Richard Dutton 2007

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  • Richard Dutton

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