A good deal of critical energy has gone in recent years into the attempt to demonstrate that even the best Elizabethan actors were some kind of human marionettes. Some twenty years ago Miss M. C. Bradbrook wrote: the “general consensus of opinion on Elizabethan acting” was this: “There would be comparatively little business, and gesture would be formalised. Conventional movement and heightened delivery would be necessary to carry off the dramatic illusion.” Since then various articles in learned journals and sections of scholarly books have supported the “formalist” attitude, which now comes to this: that the Elizabethan dramatist's words were all that really counted, and that his actors were trained to be graceful, mannered mouthpieces who recited the dramatic poetry without letting their personalities or their personal ideas of the part played color the performance in any way; they acted formally, not naturally; they did not portray character, they symbolized it. Formalism has tended toward a rigid orthodoxy, although, as we shall see, one of the modern champions of the single style, Professor Harbage, seems to have moved away from his first strict view in the direction of a more liberal formalist attitude of the kind represented by S. L. Bethell. Bethell, frankly facing the rich and lively variety of the Elizabethan plays, noted scenes demanding something like “natural” treatment, and so he allowed a second, relaxed style subordinate to a conventional technique, or sometimes mixed with it. He also saw, as separate modes, the clowning, which he regarded as non-naturalistic, and the elements of vaudeville. But for the regular drama, he argued, “the poetry and its decent delivery were the only real essentials” and “I have no doubt that the formal manner of delivery was used.” The depersonalized actors, Bethell felt, could have made no “addition of ‘personality’ or ‘creativity‘” to their lines; they let the lines tell what the character was, instead of trying to be the character.