Staging Reform, Reforming the Stage: Protestantism and Popular Theater in Early Modern England

Overview

Huston Diehl sees Elizabethan and Jacobean drama as both a product of the Protestant Reformation--a reformed drama--and a producer of Protestant habits of thought--a reforming drama. According to Diehl, the popular London theater, which flourished in the years after Elizabeth reestablished Protestantism in England, rehearsed the religious crises that disrupted, divided, energized, and in many respects revolutionized English society.

Drawing on the insights of symbolic ...

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Hardcover Very Good 0801433037 Very Good++; Hardcover, No Jacket; 1997, Cornell University Press; Very light wear to covers with "straight" edge-corners; Pages clean & ... unmarked; Tight binding with straight spine; Tan cloth covers with title in gold lettering along spine; 238 pages; "Staging Reform, Reforming the Stage: Protestantism and Popular Theater in Early Modern England, " by Huston Diehl. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Huston Diehl sees Elizabethan and Jacobean drama as both a product of the Protestant Reformation--a reformed drama--and a producer of Protestant habits of thought--a reforming drama. According to Diehl, the popular London theater, which flourished in the years after Elizabeth reestablished Protestantism in England, rehearsed the religious crises that disrupted, divided, energized, and in many respects revolutionized English society.

Drawing on the insights of symbolic anthropologists, Diehl explores the relationship between the suppression of late medieval religious cultures, with their rituals, symbols, plays, processions, and devotional practices, and the emergence of a popular theater under the Protestant monarchs Elizabeth and James. Questioning long-held assumptions that the reformed religion was inherently antitheatrical, she shows how the reformers invented new forms of theater, even as they condemned a Roman Catholic theatricality they associated with magic, sensuality, and duplicity.

Using as her central texts the tragedies of Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton, and John Webster, Diehl maintains that plays of the period reflexively explore their own power to dazzle, seduce, and deceive. Employing a reformed rhetoric that is both powerful and profoundly disturbing, they disrupt their own stunning spectacles. Out of this creative tension between theatricality and antitheatricality emerges a distinctly Protestant aesthetic.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801433030
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Series: 8/31/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 238
  • Lexile: 1720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
A Note on Editorial Practice
Introduction 1
1 The Drama of Iconoclasm 9
2 The Rhetoric of Reform 40
3 Censoring the Imaginary: The Wittenberg Tragedies 67
4 Rehearsing the Eucharistic Controversies: The Revenge Tragedies 94
5 Ocular Proof in the Age of Reform: Othello 125
6 Iconophobia and Gynophobia: The Stuart Love Tragedies 156
7 The Rhetoric of Witnessing: The Duchess of Malfi 182
Epilogue 213
Bibliography 219
Index 231
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