Renaissance Drama, by Sandra Clark
This little book is a fantastic introduction to English drama between 1580 and 1640. Seeking to show the broad context of English plays, the book is a fascinating examination of the plots and themes of a lot of plays. After an introduction that looks at the argument over the place of drama in society, the book mostly looks at different concerns of the theater: monarchy, sex and marriage, crime portrayals, history, tyrants, revenge, city comedies, and the place of Shakespeare within the scope of English Renaissance drama. The book integrates quotes from plays with the experiences of playwrights within the public (and English court) and ends up showing a fascinating picture of English drama. In fact, many people will be unfamiliar with some aspects of English drama during this period, especially the journalistic plays and the plays written in the 1630’s. The book is a very worthwhile addition to a study on Shakespeare or related playwrights.