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Staging "a Queene opprest": William Habington's Exploration of the Politics of Queenship on the Caroline Stage

Bailey, RA (2013) Staging "a Queene opprest": William Habington's Exploration of the Politics of Queenship on the Caroline Stage. Theatre Journal, 65 (2). pp. 197-214. ISSN 1086-332X

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Abstract

This essay deepens our growing understanding of Caroline theatre as a vibrant space that boldly engaged with contemporary issues. As England lurched toward civil war, there was growing unease within the Protestant establishment at the apparent success of Queen Henrietta Maria's Counter-Reformation ambitions. During this period, competing ideals of queenly conduct were performed on both the elite and commercial stages. William Habington's The Queen of Aragon (licensed and published in 1640) exposed the dilemma of a virtuous queen chastised by her people for seeking foreign support to quell insurrection. Notably, Henrietta Maria was criticized in precisely these terms during the Scottish crisis of 1638-40. Habington, a respected figure in the recusant community who enjoyed the patronage of both Henrietta Maria and the godly Earl of Pembroke, offered a surprising alternative to such political isolation. Through a brilliant revision of fashionable Neoplatonic drama, he successfully transformed the troubling image of "a Queene opprest" into a paradigm of queenly enlightenment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1904 Performing Arts And Creative Writing
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2015 09:34
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2015 09:34
DOI or Identification number: 10.1353/tj.2013.0051
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2350

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