‘Two Armies flye in…’: Battle scenes in English Renaissance theatre
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One of the most spectacular characteristics of English Renaissance theatre is the propensity for battle scenes. Between 1576 and 1616, battle scenes appear in a third of all surviving plays and, judging from the titles, the fre- quency may have been even higher in the lost plays. The popularity of battle scenes is indicative both of early mod- ern fascination with history as spectacle and of the im- minence of contemporary warfare, especially in the final decades of the reign of Elizabeth I. Based on quantitative studies, this paper offers a survey of the evolution and pro- liferation of battle scenes in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and I will critically assess the gen- eral assumption that battle scenes eventually waned from the early modern stage as a consequence of the ascent to the throne of the peace-seeking James I. For reasons to be discussed, it is quite unlikely that James's doctrine on foreign politics had any significant effect on the staging of war in theatre.
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2023|
- Faculty of Humanities