William Prynne (). Histrio-mastix. The players scourge, or, actors tragædie, divided into two parts. Wherein it is largely evidenced, by divers arguments. Vol. 6. The Drama to , Part Two. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. – Histrio-mastix The players scourge, or, actors tragædie, divided into two parts. Wherein it is largely By William Prynne, an vtter-barrester of Lincolnes Inne.
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Histrio Mastix: The Players Scourge, or, Actors tragoedie
The title page of the first edition is erroneously dated ; as a result many sources cite this as the date of publication. The Player’s Scourge; or, Actor’s Tragedy In this passionate tirade of over one thousand pages larded with authorities in text and margins — classical philosophers, church fathers, Protestant theologians — Prynne denounced stage plays, cross-dressed male actors, court masques, mixed dancing in masques and everywhere else, maypoles, wakes and other rural festivals, country sports on the sabbath, Laudian ritual, stained-glass windows and much more, staking out the most extreme Puritan position on traditional recreations at court and in the countryside.
Historiomastix strongly criticised parties, masquerade balls, country fairs, mixed dancing, feast days, wakes, hiztriomastix, even hairstyles and colourful stained-glass windows. Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the ODNB.
The Personal Rule of Charles I. The Execution of Charles I.
Histrio Mastix: The Players Scourge, or, Actors tragoedie | work by Prynne |
The notorious book was never fully suppressed; however, in the next generation, even King Charles II had a copy in his library. The Whitehall Banqueting House.
William Prynne, HistriomastixLondon, After reading this most tiresome book nearly half through, I am convinced that the punishment inflicted upon the author for writing it was entirely inadequate. This ponderous work by Puritan author William Prynne is essentially an extended argument against the perceived sins of the theater.
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The queen, who appeared in a speaking role in a prominent play not long after the publication of Histriomastixtook his slurs personally. This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Histriomadtix English Books Online Text Creation Partnership.
1633: Women actors are “notorious whores”, writes Prynne
The severity of the sentence indicates the high stakes in these culture wars: This page was last edited on 13 Aprilat Not long before the execution of Charles Iwhich occurred on January 30,a tract began to circulate, datelined “London, printed in the year ,” and bearing the title Mr.
Prynne was imprisoned in but not tried untilat which time he had to appear before the Star Chamber on a charge of seditious libel.
And dare we men, we Christians yet applaud it? Retrieved from ” https: William Prynne was an English lawyer and writer, famous for his provocative and controversial essays. But much of this particular text is a condemnation of theatrical performances and those responsible for them. Latest posts by Andrew Lundeen see all. Prynne was released from prison during the Long Parliament.
In Prynne was hauled before the star chamber, charged with seditious libel against the queen and others and found guilty. Some of the remarks, especially about “women actors, notorious whores” and “scurrilous amorous pastorals,” were thought to refer directly to the queen, who produced as well as acted in several masques and pastorals.
The handwritten note goes on to offer up this criticism:. Amorous, mixed, effeminate, lascivious, lust-exciting dancing, be it of men, or women, on the stage or elsewhere [is] a dangerous incendiary of lust; an ordinary occasion of, a preparative to much whoredom, adultery, wantonness, and such effeminate lewdness: Reproduction of the original in the Henry E.
In this passionate tirade of over one thousand pages larded with authorities in text and margins — classical philosophers, church fathers, Protestant theologians — Prynne denounced stage plays, cross-dressed male actors, court masques, mixed dancing in masques and everywhere else, maypoles, wakes and other rural festivals, country sports on the sabbath, Laudian ritual, stained-glass windows and much more, staking out the most extreme Puritan position on traditional recreations at court and in the countryside.
What wantonness, what effeminacy parallel to that which our men-women actors, in all their feminine, yea, sometimes in their masculine parts express upon the theater?
In a few places, however, it seems that Prynne went too far with his criticisms.
Running to over a thousand pages, and with a main title of 43 lines, Histriomastix marshals a multitude of ancient and medieval authorities against the “sin” of dramatic performance. One woman who quite enjoyed masked balls, mixed dancing and the occasional acting role was Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I. Even the full title of the book is joyless and long:. Wherein it is largely evidenced, by divers arguments, by the concurring authorities and resolutions of sundry texts of Scripture King Charles the Martyr.
As for actors of the opposite gender, Prynne offered a simple but biting four-word assessment:. The first leaf is blank. For the play by John Marston, see Histriomastix play.
The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators. Content may not be republished without our express permission. In addition, his book was to be burned by the common hangman, and he was expelled from his university, prohibited from practicing prynhe, and mutilated by the severance of his ears.