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The Origins of a Dramatic Technique: Rhyme in Pre-Shakespearean Drama, 1530–1580

The Origins of a Dramatic Technique: Rhyme in Pre-Shakespearean Drama, 1530–1580 <p>Abstract:</p><p>English plays of the mid-sixteenth century tended to be spoken entirely in rhyme. This led to the creation of a whole dramatic mode: rhyming verse form was a way of signaling to the audience and deepening their understanding of the play world they were entering. This article discusses the ways in which this powerful mode operated, reading rhyme as an overt signifier of moral character, status, and power dynamic and examining the ways in which it can increase our understanding of this theater&apos;s doubling practices and metatheatrical humor. It also posits these techniques and styles as vital predecessors for the more canonical Renaissance theater. The continuously rhyming drama of the midsixteenth century set up a series of expectations and patterns, which William Shakespeare and other early modern playwrights would exploit when they made the crucial shift toward a drama that used rhyme as special effect rather than norm.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

The Origins of a Dramatic Technique: Rhyme in Pre-Shakespearean Drama, 1530–1580

Studies in Philology , Volume 118 (4) – Oct 5, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Studies in Philology, Incorporated
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>English plays of the mid-sixteenth century tended to be spoken entirely in rhyme. This led to the creation of a whole dramatic mode: rhyming verse form was a way of signaling to the audience and deepening their understanding of the play world they were entering. This article discusses the ways in which this powerful mode operated, reading rhyme as an overt signifier of moral character, status, and power dynamic and examining the ways in which it can increase our understanding of this theater&apos;s doubling practices and metatheatrical humor. It also posits these techniques and styles as vital predecessors for the more canonical Renaissance theater. The continuously rhyming drama of the midsixteenth century set up a series of expectations and patterns, which William Shakespeare and other early modern playwrights would exploit when they made the crucial shift toward a drama that used rhyme as special effect rather than norm.</p>

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 5, 2021

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