Staging St George after the Reformation

HOPKINS, Lisa (2022). Staging St George after the Reformation. Literature, 2 (3), 189-199.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/literature2030016
Open Access URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2410-9789/2/3/16/pdf?version=... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.3390/literature2030016
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    Abstract

    This essay considers various ways in which St George, an important figure in mummers’ plays before the Protestant Reformation, remained a presence in drama and popular entertainment long after one would have expected him to have disappeared. It notes his importance in the agricultural calendar, his strong association with fireworks, his popular designation as a specifically English saint, and some of the customs traditionally observed on his feast day of 23 April. It then moves on to consider some of the plays in which he is mentioned or alluded to, including works by Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Francis Beaumont, and John Fletcher, as well as a romance by Richard Johnson that was later dramatized, and culminates with references in three plays produced by members of the Cavendish family of Bolsover and Welbeck. It argues that referring to St George offered a way of talking about Englishness even when (perhaps especially when) that concept was contested, and also suggests that the legendary folk hero Guy of Warwick, presented in some texts as the son of St George, could sometimes act as a dramatic proxy for the saint.

    Item Type: Article
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/literature2030016
    Page Range: 189-199
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 11:56
    Last Modified: 08 Sep 2022 11:56
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30690

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