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Stages of Power

Marlowe and Shakespeare, 1592

By Eric S. Mallin, Paul V. Sullivan

86 pp., 8 x 10, 1 map, appends

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3144-8
    Published: December 2016
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3145-5
    Published: October 2016

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It is October 1592. Christopher Marlowe, the most accomplished playwright in London, has written The Massacre at Paris for his company, the Lord Admiral’s Men. Bubonic plague has hit outlying parishes, forcing theaters to close and postponing the season. Ordinarily, the Rose Theatre would debut Marlowe’s work, but its subject—the St. Bartholomew Day’s Massacre—is unpleasant and might inflame hostilities against Catholics and their sympathizers, such as merchants on whom trade depends. A new company, the Lord Strange’s Men, boasts a young writer, William Shakespeare, who is said to have several barnburners in the queue. A competition is called to decide which company will reopen the theaters. Who will most effectively represent the nation’s ideals and energies, its humor and grandeur? One troupe will gain supremacy, primarily for literary but also for cultural, religious, and political reasons.

Free supplementary materials for this textbook are available at the Reacting to the Past website. Visit https://reacting.barnard.edu/instructor-resources, click on the RTTP Game Library link, and  create a free account to download what is available.

About the Authors

Eric S. Mallin is associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Godless Shakespeare and Inscribing the Time: Shakespeare and the End of Elizabethan England.
For more information about Eric S. Mallin, visit the Author Page.

Paul V. Sullivan is a lecturer in English and the humanities program at the University of Texas at Austin. He has published works on early modern education and drama and on teaching Shakespeare.
For more information about Paul V. Sullivan, visit the Author Page.