Chronicle Plays Criticism: Genre And Performance - Essay

Charles R. Forker (essay date 1965)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Forker, Charles R. “Shakespeare's Chronicle Plays as Historical Pastoral.” Shakespeare Studies 1 (1965): 85-104.

[In this essay, Forker focuses on the pastoral elements in Shakespeare's histories, suggesting that the pastoral functions to raise the issue of natural order and that in his chronicle plays Shakespeare used the contrast between the epic and pastoral genres to develop the contrast between order and chaos.]

The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral.

Hamlet,...

(The entire section is 9746 words.)

Lister M. Matheson (essay date 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Matheson, Lister M. “English Chronicle Contexts for Shakespeare's Death of Richard II.” In From Page to Performance: Essays in Early English Drama, edited by John A. Alford, pp. 195-219. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995.

[In this essay, Matheson explores the issue of Shakespeare's source materials, using the death scene in Richard II as an example.]

The murder of the king, weapon in hand, struck down (probably with a poleaxe) by Sir Pierce of Exton, in Shakespeare's Richard II (1595) is remarkable for several reasons. It shows a decisive aspect of Richard's character that is free of any sense of resignation or passive...

(The entire section is 10174 words.)

Martha A. Kurtz (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Kurtz, Martha A. “Rethinking Gender and Genre in the History Play.” SEL 36, no. 2 (1996): 265-87.

[In this essay, Kurtz examines the role of female characters in such plays as Sir Thomas More, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry VI, and Woodstock.]

Two concepts that have exercised considerable influence over criticism of Elizabethan drama in the past fifteen years are what might be called the hegemony of genre—that is, the idea that the ideological content of a play is predetermined and controlled by the dramatic genre to which the play seems to belong—and the Lacanian dualistic theory of gender in which masculine and feminine are seen as discrete and...

(The entire section is 8545 words.)