Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-n4bck Total loading time: 0.468 Render date: 2022-08-09T05:51:46.319Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 4 - The Court Theatre Response to the Public Theatre Debate in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

from Part I - Elizabethan Court Theatre

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2019

Sophie Chiari
Affiliation:
Clermont Auvergne University, France
Get access

Summary

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was probably not originally composed for a court wedding. Yet, as Janna Segal makes clear, it is very likely that the play was revised for performance at court, and, as such, the play emblematizes the power dynamics at work between the Elizabethan court and theatre companies. Critics concerned with the import of Midsummer’s 'rude mechanicals' (3.2.9) have generally left unattended the relationship between their theatrical practice and antitheatrical discourse. The play’s critical posture towards the antitheatricalist tracts’ characterization of the public theatre as an idle pastime, Segal explains, is first suggested by the presence of the 'mechanicals' (3.2.9) as a 'company' of players (1.2.1). Besides, the players’ recurring anxiety over the effects of their performance on the 'ladies' of Theseus’s court clearly invokes repeated warnings from John Northbrooke, Stephen Gosson, and John Rainoldes that women (especially) are vulnerable at the playhouses. So, more generally speaking, the actors-within-the-action satirically engage with the major criticisms of the public theatre voiced by eminent Puritans.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×