In this paper I propose to analyse the evolution of themes and characters typical of medieval religious drama and how they merged into Renaissance and, in particular, Shakespearean drama. My essay examines this continuity by comparing Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and the morality The Conflict of Conscience by Nathaniel Woodes. Medieval motifs, themes, and structures are thus compared and explained in relation to the historical and cultural context; moreover, my focus will be on how Christopher Marlowe and his heroes anticipate Shakespearean drama, trascending the limits of medieval drama and further developing its features, thus embodying a transition from a medieval world view to a Renaissance perspective.
Ethnicity and cultural identity are significant issues in medieval literature and early modern English dramas; while ethnic tensions were neglected by some medieval writers, these issues are represented on stage by early modern writers as signifiers of cultural conceptualization or allegories of conflicts and confrontations of political powers and races. This paper aims to discuss the reception and the revival of the Sophonisba figure in Tragedy of Sophonisba (1606) by Marston and the re-interpretation of Romani culture in the early modern drama, The Spanish Gypsie (1623), a play written in collaboration by Middleton, Rowley, Dekker, and Ford. The former focuses on an African queen, Sophonisba, who was portrayed by Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Gian Giorgio Trissino as a virtuous woman, but John Marston highlights her as a victim of political, racial, and cultural struggle. The second part of the paper deals with the re-interpretation of the culture of the Romani in early modern period. This paper not only examines the reception of medieval stories in the two early modern plays but also discusses the embedded ethnic issues in the medieval and early modern eras.
The works of Malory portray a masculinity which is based on prowess in combat and desire for a more or less unattainable woman. Despite this, the masculinity is deeply concerned with homosocial desire verging on the homoerotic, and with discussing emotional experiences. Similarly, the masculinity of Hawaii Five-0 (2010) is based in shared violence, but diverges from the standard type of masculinity portrayed in cop shows by including homoerotic elements as well as the discussion of emotional experiences. Thus, Hawaii Five-0 is not only groundbreaking but in fact reinvents a masculinity which was once unremarkable in a work of chivalry.