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Language and Stage in Medieval and Renaissance England


  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521032155

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About the Authors
  • This study explores the use of other languages, especially Latin, in medieval and Renaissance English drama. Until the medieval period Latin was regarded as the sacramental language of authority, but in the newly politicized linguistic arena of the late fourteenth century it became a symbol of the potential enemy from Rome. In this book Janette Dillon examines why, during the period 1400 to 1600, other languages increasingly invade English plays, and how their significance is illuminated by developments in Church and state, in particular the advancing Reformation and expanding English nationalism. In marked contrast to other related studies, Dillon focuses on drama as performance and employs a wide range of works, from the mystery cycles to The Spanish Tragedy, and finally Shakespeare.

    • Looks at the influence of languages (Latin etc.) on the development of drama in medieval and Renaissance plays in England
    • Provides a thorough analysis of the intellectual culture of the period
    • Focuses on key works of the period and places them in their historical contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In addressing the appearance of 'other languages' in early English drama Janette Dillon produces a study of considerable range and depth … author's insistence on focusing on language's political and dramatic force has helped to make this a scholarly and readable book which not only informs us in historical and literary terms about its period, but also equips us to 'hear' language as staged event.' New Theatre Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521032155
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.436kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Conventions and abbreviations
    1. Verbum Dei and the rise of English
    2. Staging truth
    3. The voice of God
    4. The controlling state
    5. The value of learning
    6. Shaping a rhetoric
    7. English and alien
    8. Rebels and outcasts
    9. Conclusion

  • Author

    Janette Dillon, University of Nottingham

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