The Malcontent: "Antonio and Mellida", "Antonio's Revenge", "Dutch Courtesan", "Sophonisba"

The Malcontent: "Antonio and Mellida", "Antonio's Revenge", "Dutch Courtesan", "Sophonisba"

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John Marston is one of the most most misunderstood playwrights of the Elizabethan/Jacobean period. This edition brings together Marston's five major plays in one volume. "Antonio and Mellida", printed in 1602, is a revenge story in which a father and son are exiled from their dukedom by the violent usurper Piero; Antonio loves Piero's daughter, Mellida, and risks a visit to her at her father's court in disguise - with surprising consequences. But the play's joyful conclusion is countered by the ferociously brutal "sequel", "Antonio's Revenge", a tragedy of moral relativism, and the darkest of Marston's plays. "The Malcontent" (1604), a bitter satire resembling "Measure for Measure", depicts an Italianate world of court depravity in which banished Altofronto delights in role-play, disguised as the malcontent Malevole and exposing corruption, lust and greed. "The Dutch Courtesan" (1605), an early version of a new dramatic genre, the satirical London comedy, is a play about sex and self-discipline. "Sophonisba" (1606) is an uncharacteristically austere tragedy of martyrdom and moral absolutism, admired by T.S. Eliot for its "underlying serenity". This edition provides a critical introduction based on an informed understanding of the texts as scripts for the stage.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 428 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 22.86mm | 272.15g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0192822500
  • 9780192822505

About John Marston

Keith Sturgess was formerly Emeritus Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Lancaster and Director of the Nuffield Theatre. He is author of a dozen original plays and now lives in Greece where he works as a full-time writer. He has also published several editions of Elizabethan/Jacobean plays and books on the reconstruction of Elizabethan playhouses and has directed a number of productions of plays of the period. John Marston (?1575-1634) began to write satirical verse and plays for the new professional children's companies, playing at private indoor theatres. His quarrel with Jonson resulted in his portrayal as Crispinus in The Poetaster, but the two became friends again. He collaborated with Jonson and Chapman on Eastward Ho! (1605) which got the playwrights into trouble with the king. But from 1609, he was ordained deacon and then priest and his involvement with provocative drama ceased.show more

Table of contents

Introduction. 1: Antonio and Mellida. 2: Antonio's Revenge. 3: The Malcontent. 4: The Dutch Courtesan. 5: Sophonisba. Notesshow more

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