- Early Modern Theatricality
- List of Illustrations
- list of Abbreviations
- Notes On Contributors
- Dumb show
- Index of Plays
- General Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the use of a variety of sources by English playwrights during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, including historical chronicles, English and classical poetry, Italian novelle, and books and pamphlets about current events. More specifically, it considers the question of what playwrights thought they were doing when they adapted the texts of classical poetry to a new theatrical medium, which even they understood to be a mode of representation with lower prestige. It highlights moments of ‘meta-adaptation’ and discusses three plays in which both the process of adaptation and the question of the relation between dramatic and non-dramatic literature figure prominently: Christopher Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage; Ben Jonson’s Poetaster; and William Shakespeare and George Wilkins’s Pericles.
Stephen Guy-Bray is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of three monographs—most recently, Against Reproduction: Where Renaissance Texts Come From (2009)—and numerous articles and book chapters, chiefly on Renaissance poetry. He is also the co-editor of the collection Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze (2009). He has just finished a monograph on difference and sameness in the Renaissance and in studies of the Renaissance. This essay on Middleton is part of a larger project on the importance of paraphrase.
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