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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Interlude of Youth (c.1513) and Hick Scorner (c.1514), while often cited in discussions of early Tudor drama, have rarely been the subject of focused critical attention despite their status as among the earliest extant printed drama known to the English stage. This is more surprising still when one considers the unique window they offer onto early modes of theatrical production, patronage, and dramatic inter-textuality during the early 1500s. Both anonymously written and published by notable early English printers, Youth and Hick Scorner are embroiled in an extraordinary dialogue with one another: a dialogue which exposes the tension between regional aristocracy and an increasingly centralized Henrician court, as well as attitudes towards (and perhaps even those of) the new young monarch. While no records exist to confirm the performance history of the plays, internal evidence found in Youth and Hick Scorner provides rare insight into the burgeoning theatre of the sixteenth century. This article discusses the history of Youth and Hick Scorner, moral and secular dimensions of the plays, evidence of early Tudor stagecraft, and manhood in Youth and Hick Scorner.

Keywords: early Tudor drama, theatrical production, patronage, dramatic inter-textuality, manhood, morality plays

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