Location

Schewel 215

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-4-2018 4:00 PM

Department

English

Abstract

The Masque of Queens by Ben Jonson was written in 1609, and is a play about chaos and order. My research focused on the significance of royal women as lead roles in a play when society did not allow females to be employed as actors, the juxtaposition of royal high class and the witches who open the play in an “anti-masque,” and the role masques played in the greater order of the literary canon.

I chose this topic because masques are a neglected genre of English literature and theatre that could be better utilized in classrooms, as well as in professional scholarship. Masques provided an outlet for a “public-private” life. These shows were only ever seen by other royalty in court, but masses were later able to read the scripts of these performances. They are researched very little in professional scholarship.

Masques were wildly popular in 16th and 17th century England. I think these forgotten pieces of literature could be used more readily in both professional scholarship, and as a learning tool when talking about the timeline of English literature to show us what was most valued by the playwrights who wrote them.

Faculty Mentor

Robin Bates, Beth Savage, Cynthia Ramsey

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Apr 4th, 4:00 PM

Girl Power: Recovering the Female Stage Voice in Ben Jonson’s The Masque of Queens

Schewel 215

The Masque of Queens by Ben Jonson was written in 1609, and is a play about chaos and order. My research focused on the significance of royal women as lead roles in a play when society did not allow females to be employed as actors, the juxtaposition of royal high class and the witches who open the play in an “anti-masque,” and the role masques played in the greater order of the literary canon.

I chose this topic because masques are a neglected genre of English literature and theatre that could be better utilized in classrooms, as well as in professional scholarship. Masques provided an outlet for a “public-private” life. These shows were only ever seen by other royalty in court, but masses were later able to read the scripts of these performances. They are researched very little in professional scholarship.

Masques were wildly popular in 16th and 17th century England. I think these forgotten pieces of literature could be used more readily in both professional scholarship, and as a learning tool when talking about the timeline of English literature to show us what was most valued by the playwrights who wrote them.