Henry Medwall, <i>Fulgens and Lucres</i>

Clare Wright

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199566471
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Henry Medwall, Fulgens and Lucres

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This article analyzes Henry Medwall's play, Fulgens and Lucres. It describes the progressive manipulation of both theatrical convention and actor-audience relations that recurs throughout Fulgens and Lucres; and how the roles of, and boundaries between, player and spectator are played with and juggled around to help balance serious social commentary with light, festive entertainment. It discusses the play's performance conditions, patronage and audience, and performance space and meaning. Fulgens and Lucres offers an intricate weaving of dramatic tradition and innovation, balancing the symbols and devices of theatrical heritage with a new secular outlook based on the principles of humanism. It shows how performers and playwrights used and manipulated established dramatic traditions to present their notoriously divisive observations of their social betters, to offer new ideas or confirm old beliefs, and attempt to preserve the delicate equilibrium between master and servant, character and actor, legitimate critique and impertinent, seditious condemnation.

Keywords: social commentary; plays; entertainment; performance conditions; patronage; audience; performance space

Article.  7890 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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