In chapter 2, she moves onto the category of "masques-within-plays" Noting that Massinger (like Shakespeare) wrote no official court masques
, she indicates that he was nevertheless fascinated by the form.
16) Such entertainments, usually performed in the open air, were soon developed into Jacobean court masque
The structure of the court masque
was brought to perfection by Jonson, when he included the antimasque with the witches of The Masque of Queens (1609) and the satyrs of Oberon (1611).
This is all the more regrettable in view of the promising pre-operatic history of the English court masque
, dating from Elizabethan times, which reached its apogee during the reign of James I from 1605 to 1620.
Admission to a court masque
, for instance, depended upon having sufficient rank and connection to the court (for the most part, being an aristocrat or government official), and attendance was technically by invitation only.
Sir William Davenant, the court masque
, and the English seventeenth-century scenic stage, c.
Hirschfeld proposes that the sudden swing toward collaboration registered among theater professionals a "critique of the court masque
," foregrounding "key differences" between the two institutions' production methods and "hermeneutic situation[s]" (68).
In her introduction, Rygg states, "The overriding intention of this study has been to acquire an understanding of the phenomenon of the English court masque
, to grasp more of its meaning.
Critical interest in the court masque
and in the masque culture of the Jacobean court has revealed the importance of the performance- and the audience-space for these spectacles, of the choreography of the aristocratic players, and of the often purpose-built venues where masques were performed.
He added: "All this seemed to place it not so much in the world of the court masque
as in that of Shakespeare's late romances with their missing children and miraculous reconciliations.
39) See Orgel, The Illusion of Power, 40; Hugh Craig, "Jonson, the Antimasque and the 'Rules of Flattery'," in The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque
The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque
Edited by David Bevington and Peter Holbrook Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998
This allows more music to be brought under scrutiny, musical survivals from the court masque
proper being fairly thin on the ground, especially vocal music.
Once a relatively marginal domain of scholarship, appealing primarily to academics of an antiquarian or iconographical bent, the court masque
reemerged in the 1980s and '90s as a significant forum for the intersection of politics and literature in early Stuart England.
My "when" is the summer I participated in a seminar on the court masque
at the Folger Shakespeare Library.