Page images


FRONTISPIECE.-"The Southwark entrance to London in Shakespeare's
time,” a part reproduction of the large plate by the Dutchman
Claes Jan Visscher: "Londinum florentissima Britanniæ urbs."
The portion selected shows the Bridge Gate, with the traitors'
heads on poles, and gives an idea of the animation of the main
street in the merry suburb. Note the number of inns with their
overhanging signs, the tables spread in the middle of the street,
with provisions for travellers to purchase, the groups of men
conferring together in front of their hostelry, the arrival of a
coach, etc. The Globe and the Bear Garden, near which Shake-
speare was living in 1596, are to be seen in Visscher's engraving
somewhat to the left of what is here shown. The plate is ac-
companied with a Latin description, the colophon reading :
"Amstelodami, ex officina Judoci Hondii, sub signo canis vigilis,

Pageants, masques, and ballets-May games, St. George

and Robin Hood-" Pleasures at Kenilworth," Norwich
entertainment—Gascoigne and Churchyard-Masques at court

-Court dramas and drawing-room fairy plays-Lyly's
dramatic' works-"The Araygnement of Paris" by Peele-
Scenery, machinery, and scene-shifting at court-Progress
under James I.; Inigo Jones


[ocr errors]

Farces and comedies-John Heywood-"Gammer Gurton's
Needle "-Imitation of Plautus-"Ralph Roister"


Classical teaching and its different effects in France and in
England-Thinkers, authorised critics, learned poets favour
in England classical art-Their failure-Success of those
theories in France and failure of the independents: Ogier and
Schélandre-Cause of this difference: natural tendencies
and tastes, otherwise said nature of the two peoples ...

troupes before the permanent theatres-Performances in the
inn-yards; itinerant players and their poet-Hostility of the
municipal authorities and its consequences: construction of
theatres outside of the Lord Mayor's jurisdiction-The Shore-
ditch theatres: The Theatre, the Curtain, later the Fortune-
The Southwark theatres: Newington Butts, the Rose, the
Globe, the Hope-The Bear Garden; bull and bear baiting—
Philip Henslowe and Alleyn-Theatres in the intermediary
space the Blackfriars; the "private theatres "-Difference
with Paris and Italy-The Hotel de Bourgogne; theatres of
Vicenza and Sabbioneta-Surprise of travellers on seeing the
number and success of the London theatres



[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Scenery and properties-Arras and hangings-Scant
scenery, abundant properties and practicables-"Nuncu-
pative" properties-Ropes and pulleys for goddesses, thrones,
dangling corpses, etc.-Important rôle of the carpenter and
painter-What the crowd demands: before all else, clearness
-"Thebes" upon a door-Richness of the costumes; rôle of
"our tyerman"-Difference with the continent

[ocr errors][merged small]

The actors-Principal troupes-Contracts and profits of the

sharers, the ordinary players, and "hirelings "-Women's


parts performed by boys-Children players-Composition of
the troupes; they include clowns or jesters, musicians,
dancers, fencers, acrobats, etc., Kemp, Tarleton, Armin-
"Trials of Wit"; John Taylor-Importance of dancers and
acrobats in the tours on the continent-The great tragedians:
Burbage, Field, Alleyn, etc.-Excellence of their acting and
importance of the histrionic art-Serious preparation of actors
-Their wealth and success

Less brilliant fate of authors-The traffic in plays-Hens-
lowe and his authors-Daborne-The fear of printers-
Enormous destruction of plays of that period ...

Going to the play—The dinner at the ordinary; the cross-
ing of the river; the play-bills—The public of the pit, of the
galleries, and of the stage-Fruit, tobacco, and drinks;
"stinkards" and "strumpets" — The gallants - Puritan
protests; replies from theatre-lovers-The Prologue-
Attentive spectators and noisy ones-Critics and their note-
books-Evenings at the tavern: authors, actors and spectators
meet there-Literary discussions and wit combats

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

III. FIRST DRAMAS.-Shakespeare as an adapter and imitator-
Massacres and gruesome inventions-Wit combats; appeals
to patriotism; first historical dramas-" Henry VI.," "Richard
II.," "Richard III.," "King John "-First romantic plays :
"Love's Labour's Lost," "Two Gentlemen of Verona," "Mid-
summer Night's Dream"-Wooden puppets and characters
alive with an immortal life-" Romeo and Juliet"



by publishing his "Venus" and "Lucrece "-Lyrical charm,
grace, indecency, and conceits-Performances before Eliza-
beth and at the Inns of Court-His name on title-pages-His
wealth and how he got it-Purchase of a coat of arms for his
father-Jonson's sneers-Purchase of "New Place"


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



""Othello "-Pessimistic solutions of the problem

of life—" Lear," "Timon "-Romantic dramas darkened (even
those with happy endings)—" Measure for Measure,"
"Pericles," "Troilus "-Roman dramas: "Julius Cæsar,"
"Coriolanus "-Erroneous details and real-life characters:
Brutus, Coriolanus, the people-" Antony and Cleopatra ;"
abasement of a Roman hero


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

site systems: one selects, the other accumulates-One shows

« PreviousContinue »