"Locrine" is an
Elizabethanplay depicting the legendary Trojan founders of the nation of Englandand of Troynovant ( London). The play presents a cluster of complex and unresolved problems for scholars of English Renaissance theatre.
"Locrine" was entered into the
Stationers' Registeron July 20, 1594, and published in 1595in a quarto issued by printer Thomas Creede. Individual scholars have proposed dates for the play from the early 1580s on; many have favored a date c. 1591, based on the play's links with other works of the era. It has been argued, for example, that "Locrine" borrows from the "Complaints" of Edmund Spenser, published in 1591, [Chambers, Vol. 4, p. 27.] and from "The Complaint of Elstred," a poem by Thomas Lodge, written c. 1591, that circulated in manuscript before its first printing in 1593. The question of the play's date is complicated by the question of its authorship; if Charles Tilney was the play's author (see below), it must date prior to Tilney's death in 1586. [Logan and Smith, pp. 258-9, 263-4.]
The title page of the 1595 quarto advertised the play as "Newly set foorth, overseene and corrected, / By W. S." An identification of "W. S." with Shakespeare apparently led to the play's inclusion among the seven works that
Philip Chetwindeadded to the second impression of his Shakespeare Third Folio in 1664— which in turn led to the inclusion of "Locrine" in the Shakespeare Apocrypha. The play's stiff, formal verse is un-Shakespearean — but the extant text of "Locrine" does show evidence of revision. [Maxwell, pp. 39-63.] Some commentators have accepted the possibility that Shakespeare might have performed a revision — while others have rejected the idea. The authorship of the original play has been assigned to several dramatists of the era, George Peeleand Robert Greene being the two most common candidates. [Logan and Smith, pp. 259-63.]
A manuscript note found in a copy of the 1595 quarto, and apparently by Sir
George Buck, who was Master of the Revelsunder King James I from 1609–22, states that
:::Char. Tilney wrot [e a] :::Tragedy of this mattr [which] :::hee named Estrild: [which] :::I think is this. it was [lost?] :::by his death. & now s [ome] :::fellow hath published [it.] :::I made du [m] be shewes for it.:::w [hi] ch I yet haue. G. B.
(The note is trimmed along its right edge, obscuring some words.) [Halliday, p. 283.] [Maxwell, pp. 205-7.] The validity of this note had been disputed;
Samuel A. Tannenbaumwas insistent in his view that the note was a forgery, probably by John Payne Collier. Yet other commentators have accepted it as genuine. If Charles Tilney wrote the play, it must date before his 1586execution for participation in the Babington Plot. There is no evidence, however, that Charles Tilney did any dramatic writing, other than his alleged connection with "Locrine."
ources and Influences
For the subject of his play, the author of "Locrine" drew upon a legendary pseudo-history of the founding of Britain. Just as
Virgil, in the " Aeneid," credited the founding of Ancient Rometo exiles from a defeated Troy, so later English writers such as William Caxtonand Raphael Holinshed, adapting the medieval pseudo-history of the Welsh-Norman author Geoffrey of Monmouth, credited another band of Trojan exiles for the foundation of a British realm. It was this fanciful origin myth, applied to the English rather than the Brythons, that provided the foundation for "Locrine" ( Locrinusin Geoffrey's " Historia Regum Britanniae"). The author also drew material from the " Mirror for Magistrates." [Maxwell, p. 27.]
The revenge tragedies of Seneca were a major influence on "Locrine." In addition to the poetry of Spenser and Lodge noted above, critics have pointed to links with the contemporary dramas of
Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Robert Greene and George Peele. Links with contemporary plays and playwrights can be, and have been, variously interpreted as evidence of influence or evidence of common authorship. [Logan and Smith, pp. 263-4.] [Maxwell, pp. 64-71.]
"Locrine" and "Selimus"
"Locrine" shares a complex inter-relationship with another anonymous play of its era, "Selimus," first published in 1594. The commonalities between the two plays involve parallels of plot elements and shared verbal expression and prosodic structure. [Maxwell, pp. 52-63.] The majority of scholars who have considered the problem judge the author of "Selimus" to have borrowed from "Locrine" — though a minority has favored the opposite conclusion. [Logan and Smith, pp. 265-6, 306-9.] The common features in the two plays have led some critics to suppose that they are the work of the same author; but since both plays are anonymous and their authorship is disputed, the connection between the two dramas obscures as much as it enlightens.
Following the Senecan model of revenge tragedy, each of the play's five acts is preceded by a Prologue that features
Ate, the ancient Greek goddess of folly and ruin. In each, Ate introduces and explicates a dumbshow; the play's five dumbshows feature symbolic figures and animals, or personages of classical mythology. In the first, an archer kills a lion; the second shows Perseusand Andromeda, and the third, a snake stinging a crocodile. The fourth dumbshow features Hercules and Omphale; the final dumbshow depicts Medea's murder of Jasonand Glauce. Ate returns for a sixth and final appearance at the play's conclusion.
The opening scene of the play proper shows the aged Brutus, the leader of the Trojans in Britain, before his courtiers, including his three sons, Locrine, Camber, and Albanact. Brutus knows he is dying, and attempts to order the kingdom's affairs; among other points, he decrees that Locrine marry Guendoline, the daughter of his loyal general Corineus. The scene ends with Brutus's death. Locrine obeys his father's behest and marries Guendoline.
Meanwhile, the invading
Scythiansarrive for their (totally unhistorical) incursion into the British Isles, led by their king Humber, with his wife Estrild and their son Hubba. Subsequent scenes depict a back-and-forth combat between Trojans and Scythians. When his apparent victory turns to sudden defeat, the Trojan prince Albanact commits suicide; Albanact's ghost appears through the remainder of the play, calling for revenge. The Trojans are eventually victorious. Estrild, the Scythian queen, is captured and brought to the Trojan court, where Locrine quickly falls in love with her. Corineus warns his royal son-in-law to remain faithful to Guendoline. Locrine does not follow this advice, though he sequesters Estrild in a subterranean hideaway for seven years. Once Corineus dies, Locrine brings his affair into the open; Guendoline's brother Thrasimachus vows revenge.
The defeated Humber has been living in seclusion and grinding privation for seven years since his defeat; when he kills himself, the ghost of Albanact exults. Corineus's ghost also appears to witness Locrine's fate; defeated in battle by the forces of Guendoline and Thrasimachus, Locrine and Estrild commit suicide, and their daughter Sabren eventually drowns herself. Guendoline has her husband buried royally, next to his father, but consigns Estrild to an obscure grave.
comic reliefis provided by a coterie of clown characters, Strumbo, Trompart, and Dorothy. Strumbo the cobbler marries Dorothy, but is impressed into the army along with his servant Trompart, to fight the Scythians. Strumbo survives battle by counterfeiting death:
:"Trompart:" Yet one word, good master.:"Strumbo:" I will not speak, for I am dead, I tell thee.
Later Strumbo has an encounter with Humber, just before the latter's suicide. Strumbo is prepared to feed the starving Humber, but is frightened away by Albanact's ghost.
* Chambers, E. K. "The Elizabethan Stage." 4 Volumes, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923.
* Halliday, F. E. "A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964." Baltimore, Penguin, 1964.
* Logan, Terence P., and Denzell S. Smith, eds. "The Predecessors of Shakespeare: A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama." Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1973.
* Maxwell, Baldwin. "Studies in the Shakespeare Apocrypha." New York, King's Crown Press, 1956.
* Tucker Brooke, C. F., ed. "The Shakespeare Apocrypha." Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1908.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
"Локрин" — (Locrine) трагедия неизвестного автора, внесенная в Регистр Гильдии книгопечатяников и издателей в 1594 г. и опубликованная в 1595 г. В аннотации говорилось, что представленная трагедия была прочитана, отредактирована и исправлена У. Ш. . В XVII… … Шекспировская энциклопедия
Fallen Fairies — ; or, The Wicked World , is a two act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Edward German. Premiering at London s Savoy Theatre on December 15 1909, it failed miserably, closing after just 50 performances. Neither Gilbert nor … Wikipedia
Hafren — (Old Welsh Habren, Latinised to Sabrina) is the name of a mythical person in Geoffrey of Monmouth s pseudo history Historia Regum Britanniae . The name is cognate with the root of a number of river names in Britain and Ireland and is the modern… … Wikipedia
Thomas Creede — (fl. 1593 ndash; 1617) was a printer of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, rated as one of the best of his time. [Halliday, p. 120.] Based in London, he conducted his business under the sign of the Catherine Wheel in Thames Street from 1593 to… … Wikipedia
Shakespeare Apocrypha — The Shakespeare Apocrypha is the name given to a group of plays that have sometimes been attributed to William Shakespeare, but whose attribution is questionable for various reasons. This is separate from the debate on Shakespearean authorship,… … Wikipedia
Peter Berek — Infobox Writer imagesize = 150px name = Peter Berek caption =Peter Berek pseudonym = birthdate = birthplace = Brooklyn, New York deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Professor nationality = United States period = genre = Renaissance literature… … Wikipedia
Hamlet — This article is about the Shakespeare play. For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). The American actor Edwin Booth as Hamlet, ca. 1870 The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William… … Wikipedia
Macbeth — This article is about Shakespeare s play. For other uses, see Macbeth (disambiguation). This is a poster for a c. 1884 American production of Macbeth, starring Thomas W. Keene. Depicted, counter clockwise from top left, are: Macbeth and Banquo… … Wikipedia
The Merchant of Venice — This article is about Shakespeare s play. For other uses, see The Merchant of Venice (disambiguation). The Merchant of Venice Title page of the first quarto of Merchant of Venice (1600) … Wikipedia
Cymbeline — This article is about Shakespeare s play. For other uses, see Cymbeline (disambiguation). Imogen in her bed chamber where Iachimo witnesses the mole under her breast. Illustrated by Wilhelm Ferdinand Souchon in 1872 Cymbeline ( … Wikipedia