1559: The Taming of the Wolves

Martin Wiggins

in Drama and the Transfer of Power in Renaissance England

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199650590
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741982 | DOI:
1559: The Taming of the Wolves

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)


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This chapter analyses and reconstructs the dramatic response to the return of Protestantism to the heart of English government with the accession of Elizabeth I after five years of Mary I's counter-Reformation court. The first court masque of the reign is reconstructed from documentary evidence, and the diplomatic repercussions of its caricature of the Catholic clergy are analysed. Attempts by common players to stage similarly anti-Catholic and political plays, however, led to embarrassment and the imposition of censorship. The queen's attitude to the expression of political opinions in drama rapidly became more circumspect.

Keywords: Elizabeth I; accession; Reformation; Elizabethan Settlement; court; masque; censorship

Chapter.  8691 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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