Category Archives: drama

English Drama and the Origins of Censorship

Of late, on social media we have been bombarded with what is termed “obscenities.” We writers are often accused by “reviewers” of writing obscenities or sexually explicit scenes when in our estimations, we are writing PG scenes. The problem is … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Chaucer, British history, Church of England, drama, kings and queens, playwrights, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shetland Sword Dance

 Sir Walter Scott wrote in his diary of the Shetland Sword Dance on 7 August 1814. “At Scalloway my curiosity was gratified by an account of the sword-dance, now almost lost, but still practiced in the Island of Papa…. There … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Normans, Anglo-Saxons, British history, drama, literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

John Heywood, England’s First Great Dramatist

We know little of John Heywood’s life, other than the year of his birth, which was 1497. Likely, he was once served as a choir boy in the Chapel Royale and then studied at Oxford as a King’s Scholar. He … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Chaucer, British history, drama, kings and queens, playwrights, poetry, political stance, theatre | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Oxfordshire St. George Play

Closely related to the Morris and Sword Dancers, the Oxfordshire St. George Play is considered a kind of Mummers Play. As well as possessing close elements of kinship, the characters in all these plays are largely interchangeable. That being said, … Continue reading

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A Gest of Robyn Hode, a Robin Hood Folk Ballad

In 1560, William Copeland printed the fragments of the various Robin Hood folk dramas. The “plays” were likely performed by mummers and strolling players for a century or more before Copeland printed them. A Gest of Robyn Hode A Gest … Continue reading

Posted in ballads, British history, Canterbury tales, drama, literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Second Shepherds’ Play, England’s “First Comedy”

  The Wakefield mystery play cycle included The Second Shepherd’s Play. The author is unknown, but the play is commonly attributed to the Wakefield Master. This play dates from the latter half of the 15th Century. It is written in Middle … Continue reading

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The Quem Quaeritis Trope, the Roots of Liturgical Drama

 The first Easter or Quem Quaeritis trope had its beginnings in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland. (The script of this first trope and an accompanying translation can be found below.) The Easter trope became the model for similar … Continue reading

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