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Drama and the Transfer of Power in Renaissance England$
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Martin Wiggins

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199650590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199650590.001.0001

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1559: The Taming of the Wolves

1559: The Taming of the Wolves

(p.21) 1559: The Taming of the Wolves
Drama and the Transfer of Power in Renaissance England

Martin Wiggins

Oxford University Press

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

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