Language and Stage in Medieval and Renaissance England

Language and Stage in Medieval and Renaissance England

This is the first major study of the use of other languages in medieval and Renaissance English drama. For the period 1400 to 1600 Janette Dillon examines why other languages increasingly invade English plays, and how their significance is illuminated by developments in church and state, in particular the advancing Reformation and expanding English nationalism. In marked contrast to other related studies, Dillon focuses on drama as performance and employs a wide range of works, from the mystery cycles to The Spanish Tragedy, and finally Shakespeare.


"Recommended...for large collections supporting graduate work in cultural studies, the history of language, theater, and literature and for individual teachers who can provide perspective and integration for their undergraduates." Choice

"She moves smoothly through the two centuries with eight chapters of well-organized material. Dillon offers a study of language in English drama, and the abstract suggests that her study merits attention because it--unlike many other available studies today--`focuses on drama as performance.' Any theatre company preparing a production of Hamlet, for example, would welcome Dillon's presence as a dramaturge." Andrew Vorder Bruegge, Sixteenth Century Journal

"Janette Dillon has produced a truly important work of scholarship." Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

"...a sound scholarly assessment of the political, religious, social, literary, and dramatic threads in the linguistic debates of the period." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

"...the overall argument is learned, original, and compelling. Dillon writes graciously and lucidly. Her judgments are good, and her insights into the political nature of language are refreshingly current without lapsing into trendiness. The notes and bibliography offer a useful guide for further analysis." Modern Philology