The Queen's Men and their Plays

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This is the first book devoted to the Queen's Men, one of the major acting companies of the age of Shakespeare. In describing the troupe's position in the general political situation and the London theatre scene of the 1580s, the authors break new ground, showing how Elizabethan theatre history can be refocused by concentrating on the company which produced the plays rather than on the authors who wrote them. Chapters detail the political context in which the Queen's Men were formed; the motives of the Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Walsingham, and others instrumental in forming the company; the players' national tours; their impact on the commercial theatre of London; the staging of plays and the nature of the texts sent to the printer. A final chapter considers the company's relationships with the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare, and explores the possibility that Shakespeare began his career writing for the Queen's Men.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Part theater history, part dramatic criticism, this is an exemplary work of careful and detailed scholarship; McMillin (Cornell) and MacLean (Univ of Toronto) provide ingenious and stimulating interpretations of the many political, cultural, and socioeconomic factors that influenced the formation and subsequent history of one of the age's premiere companies. They also offer an intriguing, insightful look at late-16th-century Elizabethan theater practice, including the casting and doubling of roles, how playbooks were managed, how the company organized its extensive touring schedule, dramaturgical issues, and matters of performance style." Choice

"...a major and timely contribution to the history of early English theater. It is comprehensive, informative and wise..., packed with fresh ideas." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England

"This is a groundbreaking piece of theater history." Shakespeare Quarterly

"The book is rich in insight and careful in its conclusions." Sixteenth Century Journal

"No quick sketch can begin to do justice to the riches of this fascinating book." Letters in Canada

"The Queen's Men and their Plays is a major and timely contribution to the history of the early English theater. It is comprehensive, informative, and wise. More than all this, it is packed with fresh ideas...McMillan and MacLean have established themselves as the definitive interpreters of the late Tudor phenomenon known as the Queen's Men." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521025393
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The London theatre of 1583 1
2 Protestant politics: Leicester and Walsingham 18
3 The career of the Queen's Men 37
4 The Queen's Men in print 84
5 Casting and the nature of the texts 97
6 Dramaturgy 121
7 Marlowe and Shakespeare 155
App. A Recorded performances of the Queen's Men 170
App. B Casting analysis 189
App. C Biographical notes on the Queen's Men 194
Notes 198
Bibliography 227
Index 235
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