The Court Masque: Art and Politics

Book chapter

Holbrook, Peter. (2019) The Court Masque: Art and Politics. In In Kristen Poole and Lauren Shohet (Ed.). Gathering Force: Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1557–1623: Volume 1 pp. 161-177 Cambridge University Press.
AuthorsHolbrook, Peter
EditorsKristen Poole and Lauren Shohet

[Extract] That spectacular form of Renaissance court entertainment known as the masque – a sort of total artwork involving poetry, music, spell-binding scenery, lighting, costumes, and, above all, dancing – was a mode of avant-garde display dedicated to the innovative politics of royal absolutism gaining ground in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. Part of a comprehensive tradition of royal pastimes and ceremony (including progresses through the realm, entries into cities, and disguisings), the masque, which in England reached its apogee under the Stuart monarchs James I and Charles I, was dedicated to glorifying, mythologizing, and legitimating monarchy, via a complex iconographical and literary-aesthetic-philosophical program.

Page range161-177
Book titleGathering Force: Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1557–1623: Volume 1
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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Deposited06 Apr 2021
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