The Devil and the Sacred in English Drama, 1350-1642

Overview

John Cox tells the intriguing story of stage devils from their earliest appearance in English plays to the closing of the theaters by parliamentary order in 1642. The book spans both medieval and Renaissance drama and includes the medieval Mystery cycles on the one hand, through to plays by Greene, Marlowe, Shakespeare (Henry VI Parts 1 and 2), Jonson, Middleton and Davenant.
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Overview

John Cox tells the intriguing story of stage devils from their earliest appearance in English plays to the closing of the theaters by parliamentary order in 1642. The book spans both medieval and Renaissance drama and includes the medieval Mystery cycles on the one hand, through to plays by Greene, Marlowe, Shakespeare (Henry VI Parts 1 and 2), Jonson, Middleton and Davenant.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Professor Cox convincingly reevaluates the role of the Devil in early drama and establishes this evil character as in opposition to the social and religious good - in other words, as embodying a function of perversity to fit all situations." The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review

"Cox is a careful and insightful reader of dramatic literature from mystery and morality plays through early Protestant drama to the flowering of the Renaissance stage... Valuable and thought-provoking." Religion and Literature

"This is a good work and I wish I had been able to consult it for my own..." Bibliotheque d' humanisme et Renaissance

"If you wanted to see a God-like figure nonetheless, the players are glad to provide, for a price, a distant, tantalizing glimpse." Christianity and Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521790901
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 268
  • Lexile: 1670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

John D. Cox is Professor of English at Hope College, Michigan. He has taught at Westmont College, the University of Victoria BC, Harvard University, Calvin College and the University of California at Berkeley. His books include Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of Power (1989) and A New History of Early English Drama, co-edited with David Scottt Kastan, which was chosen as the winner of the 1997 Best Book of the Year Award by the American Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Stage devils and oppositional thinking; 2. The devil and the sacred in the English mystery plays; 3. Stage devils and sacramental community in non-cycle plays; 4. Stage devils and early social satire; 5. Protestant devils and the new community; 6. The devils of Dr Faustus; 7. Reacting to Marlowe; 8. The devil and the sacred on the Shakespearean stage: theatre and belief; 9. Traditional morality and magical thinking; 10. New directions; Appendix: devil plays in English, 1350–1642; Notes; Index.
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