Chronicle Plays Criticism: Politics And Ideology - Essay

Leonard Tennenhouse (essay date 1985)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Tennenhouse, Leonard. “Strategies of State and Political Plays: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VIII.” In Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism, edited by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, pp. 109-28. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985.

[In this essay, Tennenhouse traces changes in Shakespeare's plays concurrent with the movement from Elizabethan to Jacobean politics.]


For over fifty years traditional literary criticism has read Shakespeare's history plays in one of three ways: as overt political texts that can be interpreted by reference to the...

(The entire section is 8393 words.)

Larry S. Champion (essay date April 1988)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Champion, Larry S. “‘Answere to this Perillous Time’: Ideological Ambivalence in The Raigne of King Edward III and the English Chronicle Plays.” English Studies 69, no. 2 (April 1988): 117-29.

[In this essay, Champion uses the example of the anonymous play The Raigne of King Edward III to argue that the chronicle play resonated in different ways with different strata of the audience.]

The Raigne of Edward III, published anonymously in quartos of 1596 and 1599, has been described as ‘one of the finest examples of the chronicle history plays’,1 ‘the most academic and intellectual’2 and the ‘most...

(The entire section is 6799 words.)