chronicle plays

chronicle plays,

dramas based upon 16th-century chronicles in English, particularly those of Edward HallHall, Edward,
1499?–1547, English chronicler. He wrote The Union of the Noble and Ilustre Famelies of Lancastre and York (1548), usually called Hall's Chronicle.
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 and Raphael HolinshedHolinshed, Raphael
, d. c.1580, English chronicler. He was a translator who also assisted Reginald Wolfe in the preparation of a universal history, which was never finished.
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. These plays became very popular late in the reign of Elizabeth I, when, in a burst of patriotism, the public became interested in the history of their country. Starting as loosely structured depictions of events featuring large casts, battle scenes, and much pageantry, the chronicles evolved into narratives of the events of the reign of a single king. Christopher Marlowe depicted the reign of Edward II, whereas Shakespeare treated the histories of kings from Richard II to Henry VIII. His Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V are marked by complex characterizations and comic subplots.
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References in periodicals archive ?
After a brief discussion of genre--here, the chronicle play--and how history was used in allegorical dramas she introduces John Pickering's Horestes and Thomas Preston's Cambises as examples of plays which employ allegory to safely critique the commonwealth though "veiled polemic." Murakami reads Pickering's play as a response to Preston's Cambises and she argues that together the plays show how such chronicle plays as these evoke moral positions opposed to those found in the earlier moral dramas.
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After a chapter on actors, plays, and playhouses, he works his way through the plans, with asides on the warrior plays and the chronicle plays as groups.
Alexander Shurbanov and Boika Sokolova argue, as part of their account of the chronicle plays' productions in Bulgaria, that in "rewriting the histories the twentieth century diagnosed its own painful plight and reinscribed Shakespeare in the body of its post-World War II culture not as the author of unique dramatic creations based on old stories, but as a rich source of old texts to be reshaped for modern use--a legacy whose vigour resides in its endless susceptibility to meaningful revision and adaptation" (186).
The same is true in his treatment of the chronicle plays, even though he later approvingly cites Jonathan Goldberg's celebration of the contingency within Renaissance literature (175).
In contrast to the historical dramas staged by the rival Henslowe companies, which, he argues, were less concerned with the "consolidation and maintenance of royal power" than with the plight of the socially inferior "victims of such power," Shakespeare's chronicle plays exorcised the common people from their vision of the nation with increasing ruthlessness: It is as though Shakespeare set out to cancel the popular ideology with which his cycle of English history plays began, as though he wanted to efface, alienate, even demonize all signs of commoner participation in the political nation.
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Early chronicle plays had such titles as The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth, The Life and Death of Jacke Straw, The Troublesome Raigne of John King of England , and The True Tragedie of Richard III.
He capitalized on the revolutionary treatment that Marlowe had given blank verse, achieving a greater range and flexibility than his predecessors had been capable of, and he responded to the newly developing national mood with a series of chronicle plays (the Histories).
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Heywood in An Apology for Actors (1612), encourages us to regard Edward IV as homiletic: chronicle plays, he claims, "teach ...
In the second part of our series for Local Newspaper Week, Julie Cush looks at the role the Chronicle plays at the heart of the community