The Troublesome Reign of King John

Stephen Longstaffe

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

The Troublesome Reign of King John

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)



This article analyzes The Queen's Men's The Troublesome Reign of King John. As a source of Shakespeare's King John, the play remained in his shadow more or less until the publication in 1998 by Scott McMillin and Sally-Beth MacLean of their ground-breaking book The Queen's Men and their Plays. The key to their approach was to imagine the play in performance and on tour, as part of a repertory with its own distinct dramaturgical, stylistic, and political characteristics, in the service of the broad project of newly protestant nation-making usually identified principally with Walsingham and Leicester. In this account, the Queen's Men come over as a sixteenth-century English version of the Berliner Ensemble, with an aesthetics inseparable from a politics, and both disseminated via the touring which was the company's raison d'être. This approach continues to yield new insights into the play.

Keywords: The Queen's Men; Tudor theatre; plays; Berliner Ensemble; Scott McMillin; Sally-Beth MacLean

Article.  10522 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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