Thursday, April 2, 2009

1500 to 1599: Faerie Queen to Taming of the Shrew

Edmund Spenser. British. 1590/96. Poetry. The Faerie Queen. Spiritual allegory of man’s quest for salvation. Quest motif. Each leading knight represents a particular virtue: Holiness, Temperance, Chastity, Friendship, Justice and Courtesy.

Shakespeare. British. 1590-1600? Play. As You Like It. Duke Frederick vs. wicked brother Oliver. Duke banished to the forest. Rosalind disguised as Ganymede is wooed by Phebe. Rosalind eventually marries Orlando.

Shakespeare. British. 1592. Play. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Two former friends vie for the same girl. Proteus uses some dirty tricks to gain this end. Valentine wins her in the end and Proteus marries his former girl friend.

Robert Greene. British. 1592. Pamphlet. A Groatsworth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance. Reference to Shakespeare: “Upstart crow….”; “Shake-scene.” Written while dying. A repentance tract. warning to fellow playwrights to eschew evil and avoid his bitter end.

Shakespeare. British. 1593. Play. The Taming of the Shrew. Younger daughter cannot be wed until older, violent, shrewish sister is married. Petruchio tames her by his own high-handed behavior after marrying her.

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