Staging St George after the Reformation

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

Hopkins-StagingStGeorge(VoR).pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (275kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::


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:
Page Range: 189-199
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 11:56
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics