Marprelate controversy

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Marprelate controversy

(mär`prĕl'ĭt), a 16th-century English religious argument. Martin Marprelate was the pseudonym under which appeared several Puritan pamphlets (1588–89) satirizing the authoritarianism of the Church of England under Archbishop John Whitgift. The church replied in kind, but silenced the pamphleteer only after a reaction against him by the more conservative Puritans and after the use of police powers by Whitgift. A flood of both Martinist and anti-Martinist literature followed, to which Thomas Nashe, John Lyly, and Richard Harvey are supposed to have contributed. The true identity of Martin Marprelate has never been determined, but John PenryPenry, John,
1559–93, British Puritan author, an instigator of the Marprelate controversy, b. Wales, grad. Cambridge and Oxford. While at college he became an ardent Puritan.
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 may have been the chief author.


See The Marprelate Tracts (ed. by W. Pierce, 1911, repr. 1967); E. Arber, An Introductory Sketch to the Martin Marprelate Controversy, 1558–1590 (1895, repr. 1967); D. J. McGinn, John Penry and the Marprelate Controversy (1966).

References in periodicals archive ?
After all, the 1588 proclamation prohibiting the Marprelate tracts denounces them in precisely these terms, condemning their authors for writing in a "railing sort and beyond the bounds of all good humanity.
The first of the Martin Marprelate tracts to speak "through" Tarleton's role was the Epistle printed in mid-October 1588.
As the investigation in Chapter 3 of the Puritan and anti-Puritan writing shows, the Marprelate tracts appropriate the clowning misrule figure to construct their own carnivalesque satiric vision of the ecclesiastical status quo.
Black then focuses on style in an essay that convincingly suggests that while there are no clear surviving examples of anti-Martinist drama, the stylistic and rhetorical conventions of the polemical Marprelate tracts (and satirical responses to them) had a significant impact on drama from the 1590s well into the seventeenth century.
Sharpe highlights familiar moments of public debate and unrest: the print campaign that supported the break from Rome, the Pilgrimage of Grace, resistance theory smuggled in from abroad during Mary's reign, controversy over Elizabeth's marriage negotiations, and the Marprelate tracts.
From an examination of the Martin Marprelate tracts -- or rather, the anti-Marprelate tracts they inspired -- Poole describes the way in which the already ribald prose of the Martin authors was heightened and subverted by opponents, who "atrack[ed] the puritan 'Hipocrites"' by mocking them on their own rhetorical and stylistic turf, and by "'imitating.
He re-examines puritan and anti-Puritan polemics, both in the bitingly satirical Martin Marprelate tracts and the reposts which they elicited in like kind, and in the attacks on the stage written by Philip Stubbes, Stephen Gosson and their ilk, which found appropriate response in those classic caricatures of `the godly' on stage, Zeal-of-the-Land Busy in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair and Angelo in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.
The Paul's Cross sermon of 1588 was preached in retaliation to the publication of the Marprelate Tracts.
This argument is pursued chronologically through individual case studies: two editions of Foxe's Acts and Monuments (1576, 1589), the Marprelate tracts (1588-89), the early quartos of Hamlet (1603-04), Donne's Pseudo-Martyr and An Anatomy of the World (1610-11), and Milton's Areopagitica (1644).
North argues that the Marprelate tracts are distinct "because they authored anonymity with such flair, humor, and self-consciousness" (158), but surely this is a description of the effect of pseudonomity, the taking of a distinctive name for satiric purposes.
Clegg's exoneration of the censors is perhaps most evident in her chapters on Catholic propaganda and on the Marprelate tracts.
Quoting extensively from Nashe's, Lyly's, and Greene's anti-Martin Marprelate tracts, Kristin Poole shows that the view of the Puritan they promoted was not one of "the lean, mean Malvolio that post-Restoration readers and audiences .