Royal self-assertion and the revision of chivalry: the entertainment at Kenilworth (1575), Jonson's Masque of Owls (1624), and the king's entertainment at Welbeck (1633)

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Abstract

This article examines the self-assertion of Queen Elizabeth I in conjunction with analysis of the thematic and linguistic connections between The Entertainment at Kenilworth (1575), The Masque of Owls (1624), and The King's Entertainment at Welbeck (1633). The Queen's rejection of Leicester's neo-chivalric script is linked with a radical revision of traditional chivalry. Discussion of texts authored by Laneham and Gascoigne recording events at Kenilworth reveals a reimagining of chivalry in democratic terms; and the article shows how Ben Jonson co-opted this radical rethinking in his entertainments into a defence of country sports, and the rights of poet and patron.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-976
Number of pages24
JournalThe Modern Language Review
Volume109
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

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