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Elizabethan Drama Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Elizabethan Drama.
This section contains 926 words
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Historical Context

Master of Revels and Censorship

Every play had to be submitted to the Master of Revels for licensing before performance. He acted as the official censor and would often force the deletion of passages or references that were deemed offensive. Gerald Eades Bentley, in "Regulation and Censorship" from The Profession of Dramatist in Shakespeare's Time, 1590-1642, observes that

most of the censoring activities were intended to
eliminate from the stage five general types of lines
or scenes: 1. Critical comments on the policies or
conduct of government. 2. Unfavorable presentations
of friendly foreign powers or their sovereigns, great
nobles or subjects. 3. Comment of religious controversy.
4. Profanity (after 1606). 5. Personal satire of
influential people.






The Office of Revels was originally established to select and supervise all entertainment of the sovereign, but as time progressed, its power grew. In 1581, a patent was issued that centralized the regulation of all plays and players with...

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This section contains 926 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Elizabethan Drama Study Guide
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Elizabethan Drama from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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