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The Bal des Ardents (1393), Thomas of Woodstock (1397) and Richard II (1400): Three Medieval Conspiracy Rumours and the Scots’ Mine Play (1608).

Katritzky, M. A. (2017). The Bal des Ardents (1393), Thomas of Woodstock (1397) and Richard II (1400): Three Medieval Conspiracy Rumours and the Scots’ Mine Play (1608). European Medieval Drama, 20 pp. 105–139.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1484/J.EMD.5.114451
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Abstract

Assassination vehicles in Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedies sometimes involve meta-theatrical court festival massacres: court performances embedded within full-length drama, resulting in violent death or trauma to characters in the play. During his career as a playwright (c. 1600–08), John Marston pioneered the masquerade-within as a popular sub-category of court festival massacre. Were such underhand festival appropriations wholly inspired by stage precedents? Or did they also occur in real life? Whether its deaths were accidental or resulted from a botched assassination plot, the 1393 Bal des Ardents was hugely culturally and politically influential. Its continuing cultural afterlives bear witness to the geographical, chronological and social shockwaves of a medieval event whose impact illuminates the persistent collective trauma generated by extreme modern assassinations. My researches identify the conspiracy rumours encouraged in the wake of the 1393 Paris disaster and two English conspiracies of 1397 and 1400 linked to court festivals, as key to a fresh approach to the meta-theatrical court festival massacre, and to interpretation of two plays traditionally discussed together, which refer to these English conspiracies, Shakespeare’s Richard II and the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock. My analysis supports a post-Elizabethan dating of Woodstock, and encourages the hypothesis that it could be the so-called Scots’ Mine Play of 1608, the lost Jacobean play thought by some to have ended Marston’s career as a playwright.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: Brepols
ISSN: 2031-0064
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Small Grant103303/Z/13/ZWellcome Trust
Keywords: "Bal des Ardents"; "Thomas of Woodstock"; "Richard II"; medieval masqueraders; mumming; masque; play-within-a-play; William Shakespeare; John Marston; the Scots’ Mine play or ‘The (Scottish) silver mine’ (lost play of 1608); Elizabethan and Jacobean Revenge Tragedy; meta-theatrical court festival massacres
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Cultures > English & Creative Writing
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Cultures
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
History of Books and Reading (HOBAR)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 52570
Depositing User: M. A. Katritzky
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 16:47
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 12:44
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/52570
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