Anthony Munday (1553–1633)

Teoksen Sir Thomas More tekijä

19+ Works 181 Jäsentä 6 arvostelua

About the Author

Includes the name: Anthony Munday

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

English Poetry, Volume I: From Chaucer to Gray (1910) — Avustaja — 513 kappaletta
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (1932) — Avustaja — 110 kappaletta
William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays (2013) — Avustaja — 43 kappaletta
Jacobean Civic Pageants (Renaissance Texts & Studies) (1996) — Avustaja — 8 kappaletta
The Weakest Goeth to the Wall (1970) — attributed author, eräät painokset3 kappaletta
The Ancient British drama, in three volumes — Avustaja — 2 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




A very good, thorough edition of this collaborative play from the 1600s, to which William Shakespeare contributed. The introduction does a good job of exploring both the play as a work, and also the complex situation that led to its creation. The main text has a battle on its hands, since it's a very rare example of a play found in manuscript form, so words are missing, scenes are divided between authors or occasionally between original and censored texts, and so on. Very thoroughly done. And the thick appendices explore the nature of the text, which is very useful in this odd instance. Very glad the Arden Third Series has incorporated this into the body of Shakespeare scholarship, and looking forward to the rest of their high-quality run over the next few years.… (lisätietoja)
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therebelprince | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 24, 2023 |
Interesting take on Thomas More, a play written during a period where his role in opposing Henry VIII’s divorce, which led to the English Reformation, would have surely drawn the attention of the censors.
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merlin1234 | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 9, 2021 |
[Sir Thomas More: A play by Anthony Munday and Others]: revised by Henry Chettle, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Heywood and William Shakespeare.
As the title suggests this Elizabethan play underwent a complicated history of production and although a fair copy was eventually made by Anthony Munday, apparently it never made it onto a London Stage. Although many hands were involved the actual finished item (if it was ever finished) reads very well indeed. Claims have been made that it is one of the best of the Elizabethan history plays and the form in which it can be read today demonstrates that it is stage worthy: ie that it would work well enough without major adjustments. In addition to this there are three pages of the manuscripts that have been confidently identified by some, as being by William Shakespeare's own hand and these seem to be the only pages of a manuscript written by Shakespeare that have come down to us. All this points to it being a bit of a mystery as to why it is not better known.

The play based on incidents in the life of Sir Thomas More falls fairly neatly into two parts; depicting his rise to power and then his dramatic fall and execution. The intense anti-foreigner feeling expressed in the first part of the play more than echoes the anti immigrant convictions of the majority of people in The UK, in America and in Europe today, perhaps it's topicality is one aspect of it's failure for being considered for a serious modern revival. Governments today are still shy of appearing as out and out racists, while at the same time encouraging their people to be so. In Henry VII's England the people of London rioted against the foreigners living in the city, they lived in enclaves that were seen to have economic and social advantages over the native population. In the play this comes down to an incident where foreigners are forcibly taking food from a London artisan, who is not deemed worthy enough to appreciate the delicacies and then also taking his wife into the bargain. Preachers at Spitalfields encourage the anger against the foreigners and it is Thomas More's intervention when he was an under Sheriff that persuaded the rioters to return to their homes. Thomas More is knighted and he becomes chancellor to king Henry VIII. This part of the story is skilfully conflated by the authors and there follows a scene midway through the play where Sir Thomas is entertaining dignitaries at his London home and provides a troupe of players to provide the entertainment. This play within a play entitled "the marriage of wit and wisdom" provides a sort of hiatus in the proceedings. It is included to demonstrate the wit of Sir Thomas, because the troupe are a player short and Sir Thomas himself offers to play a part. The final two acts of the five act play, show More's fall from power when he refuses to sign the articles that make the King the supreme head of the church. This part of the play shows Sir Thomas as a martyr to his faith. Going to his execution with equanimity joking to the last and confident in himself and his family. It is poignant but without actually saying so points to the king as merciless and a villain.

Sir Thomas More was one of the few Elizabethan plays to be based on recent history; Elizabeth I was Henry VIII 's daughter and so it was no surprise that the play would run into censorship problems and it is well documented that the Master of the Revels Edmund Tilney; became involved and sent the original copy back for rewriting. Anthony Munday was a fierce anti-catholic involved in priest hunting and so it would seem that he would make the necessary adjustments, but although some were made, Sir Thomas More is still very much the hero. Perhaps then it was never politically suitable to be played during Elizabeths reign. It might be more ( the play is full of puns) appropriate today with its anti foreigner messages.

Act scene iii is the portion written in Shakespeare's hand and contains the speech of Thomas More that quells the riot. It certainly gives no quarter to the rioters, reminding them that they are the kings subjects, under his protection and reminding them that they owe allegiance to the king. More is able to convince them to desist, because he is seen as an honest man and one who does not necessarily wish to take revenge on the common man. The writing does not particularly stand out from all that has gone before or all that follows, because the writing is of a good standard throughout. This modern spelling edition makes for an enjoyable and entertaining read for anyone interested in Elizabethan drama.

I read the Revels Plays edition edited by Vittorio Gabrieli and Giorgio Melchiori, which proves to be an excellent guide for the interested reader. The introduction, painstakingly yet fairly precisely takes the reader through all the amendments and interventions to Anthony Munday's fair copy. It surmises on the date order of the amendments and the probable reasons as to why they were made. It is an excellent example of its kind, holding the reader interest and giving food for thought on possible additional reading or enquiry. The notes that appear on the same page as the text are detailed and support the information given in the introduction. There are appendices that show amendments that were never included and also details of the source material that was used. It really is an excellent package and enhanced my reading of the play, which is one where the history of the production is as fascinating as the play itself. All in all a five star read.
… (lisätietoja)
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baswood | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 26, 2021 |
Fidele and Fortunio by Anthony Munday
Three Ladies of London - Anonymous.
Two plays from 1584/5 which Shakespeare might have seen when he first came to London in the mid 1580’s. Fidele and Fortunio as presented by Munday looks forward to the great drama that was to come at the end of the 16th century while Three ladies of London looks back towards an earlier era of morality plays. Both plays were popular enough to go into print and both have survived through the intervening centuries. I read them back to back on a misty, rainy afternoon in the French winter countryside and they lightened the gloom.

Anthony Munday (1560-1633) had a long career as a playwright, novelist, translator, entertainments for Lord Mayors shows, pamphleteer and spy. He was a man who seemed to have lived by his pen in what could be described as the popular media. He could certainly put words together and over 200 works have been attributed to him, but critical opinion says he was no poet. Fidele and Fortunato was registered in 1585 and described as a translation, which is probably why it has been attributed solely to Munday at a time when many plays for the London playhouses were collaborations. Munday’s play was more like a construction or interpretation from ‘Il Fedele’ which was an Italian Renaissance comedy by the Venetian playwright Pasqualigo.

For the London Stage Munday made some significant alterations. He excluded many of the minor characters adapting the plot to fit the reduced number of players. He removed much of the misogyny which was a feature of Italian comedy at the time and developed the characters a little better, while maintaining the touch of a light frothy comedy. The skeleton of the plot remains close to the original with its intrigues, star crossed lovers, magic charms, disguises and misunderstandings and it is set in Italy. It also has a standard funny character in the blustering, self important, but ultimately stupid Captain Crackstone. The play starts with the sad faced Fidele returning from the wars wanting to marry the woman he loves Victoria, however Fortunio has also fallen in love and in Fidele’s absence has been wooing Victoria for himself. Fortunio fearing Fidele’s return enlists the help of Captain Crackstone, but Crackstone hatches a plot to discredit Victoria with Fidele and Fortunio so that he can have her for himself. Victoria loves Fortunio and she hires the sorceress Medusa to use her magic, meanwhile Fidele asks his old schoolmaster Pedante for his help and he promptly falls in love with Victoria’s maid. Fortunio is fooled by Pedante in disguise and turns his attentions to Virginia who is in love with Fidele. The climax of the play is when Crackstone overplays his hand and ends up caught in a net by the city guards while he is disguised as Pedante. It all ends happily with the lovers getting the partners of their choosing.

The action has been speeded up from the original by Munday and there is hardly a dull moment with some witty dialogue and asides to the audience.

This is one of Crackstones asides to the audience when he is disguised as Pedante the schoolmaster; it is amusing as well as serving to move the plot along:

Softe, for it is night, I must not make any noyse I trowe:
Me thinks this apparell makes me learnd,
which of all these Starres doo I knowe.
Yonder is the gréen Dog, and the blew Beare,
Harry Horners Girdle, and the Lyons eare.Me thinkes I should spowt Lattin before I beware,
Argus mecum insputare?
Cur Canis tollit poplitem,
Cum mingit in parietem?
Alice tittle tattle Mistres Victoriaes Maid:
If I speake like the Schoolmaister, shée will neuer be afraid.
As soon as she opens the doore to let mée in:
With my Ropericall aliquanci I will begin.
Swinum, Velum, Porcum. Graye-goosorum iostibus:

Enter Fede¦le and Pe∣dante.
Rentibus dentibus, lofadishibus, come after vs.
I haue berayed my selfe I think with speaking so high:
This is Sir Fedele that is so nigh.
Till he be past it were not good for mée to appéere:
Therfore Ile slip into the Temple, and hide me in the Tombe that standeth héere.

Of course the scene ends with Crackstone rising from the tomb in which he has been hiding and frightening everyone to death.

The Three ladies was entered into the registry by author unknown in 1585 and it has the trappings of a morality play, while ignoring any religious connotations. The three ladies in question are. Fame, Love and Conscience and they are all in pursuit of Lucre. The characters of Dissimilation and Simplicity do battle with Fraud and Userie. Mercadore an Italian merchant arrives and he speaks in Pidgin English, he attempts to use Fraud and Userie to gain Lucre as do a Lawyer and an Artificier. Hospitality a dry old man appears on the scene and he is promptly murdered by Userie and so it goes on……….. The plot is threadbare to say the least and serves to highlight the dangers of Fraud, Userie and the pursuit of Lucre, There are no real characters and while some of the dialogue is fairly well written and probably was written to amuse as well as instruct the audience, it feels heavy and leaden beside Fidele and Fortunio.

The two plays serve to show the variety and development of drama in late Tudor England and paved the way for the explosion of talented playwrights who were just round the corner. While reading the plays it is interesting to imagine them being performed on stage and while Fidele and Fortunio would provide some entertainment, I cannot see how Three Ladies of London would be made to work and so I rate Fidele and Fortunio as 3 stars and Three Ladies of London as 2 stars.
… (lisätietoja)
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baswood | Jan 15, 2019 |


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