Article

Materiality and the Market: The Lady Elizabeth's Men and the Challenge of Theatre History

Kathleen E. McLuskie

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697861
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697861.013.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Materiality and the Market: The Lady Elizabeth's Men and the Challenge of Theatre History

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Literary accounts of thematic attention to contemporary politics seem to be historically endorsed by the connection between a company and its assumed court patronage, while the representation of the market in plays' narratives is routinely connected to the market for plays in the life-world of early modern England. These readings of play-texts often produce an elegant and persuasive synergy between literary and theatre history, closing the often troubling and frustrating gaps in our knowledge of the day-to-day operations of a theatre company and the even more elusive evidence of the reception of early modern drama. However, these historicist readings obscure the essential relationships between playing companies, playwrights, and their plays. By paying attention to the Lady Elizabeth's Men, a company that worked in both the metropolis and the provinces and whose repertory (both known and lost) was claimed by different playing companies, we might perceive and understand one point of pressure on the market model that dominates the current history of the early modern stage.

Keywords: Lady Elizabeth's Men; theatre; market; England; theatre history; plays; repertory; playing companies; playwrights

Article.  6094 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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