Reading progress update: I've read 28 out of 285 pages.

Shakespeare And Co.: Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Johnson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher And The Other Players In His Story - Stanley Wells

At the turn of the century theatre was a growth industry, as exemplified by building of two large new playhouses: the Globe in 1599 and the Fortune in 1600. People flocked to see plays for various reasons. Some hoped for straightforward entertainment. Some looked for edification, for instruction in English and Roman history, in mythology and in stories of ancient and modern heroes. Some sought to enter a world of the fantasy and imagination, or romanticized reflections of their own lives. Some went to be provoked to think about contemporary social and political issues, even tho legal restraints meant that these usually had to be indirectly treated. Until the late 1590s romantic and historical subject matter prevailed, with plays set in distant lands and in the more or less remote past - as Shakespeare's were to be for the whole of his career. But from 1597 onwards the emergence of what became the Jacobean generation of dramatists, including Johnson, Dekker and Middleton, saw a  broadening of subject matter, with plays set (sometimes covertly) in contemporary London and satirical of the society that produced them. And as we shall see there were plays that fuelled or provoked subversion or dissent. 

 

(p. 9)

Continuing with the Will's World project, it is only fitting that I am looking to Stanley Wells to balance some of the notions brought forward in Rupert Brooke's work on Elizabethan drama

 

I loved the above quote from Wells' book because it essentially talks about theatre audiences and the perception of plays, not so much the technical details of how they were written, or whether the author prefers one to the other for spurious reasons. 

 

Sorry, I guess, I'm still dwelling on Brooke's comments on some of them. 

 

Anyway, I love Wells' scene setting, which gives a good background to readers who haven't read Well's other books and is novel enough for readers who have.