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Manchester University Press, Dec 15, 1997 - Drama - 206 pages
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John Lyly was undisputed master of the private theatre stage in the 1570s and 1580s. Lyly’s Endymion (1588) represents his famous Euphuistic style at its best and also gives us vintage Lyly as courtier and dramatist. In this love comedy, Lyly retells an ancient legend of the prolonged sleep of the man with whom the moon (Cynthia) fell in love. The fable is piquantly relevant to Queen Elizabeth and her exasperated if adoring courtiers. This edition makes a new and compelling argument for the relevance of Endymion to the threat of the Spanish Armada invasion of 1588 and to the role of the Earl of Oxford in England’s politics of that troubled decade. Full commentary is provided on every aspect of the play, including its philosophical allegory about the relation of the moon to mortal life on earth.

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First performed before Queen Elizabeth I in 1588, Endymion was a prototype of the comedies that Shakespeare would become famous for a decade later. The story is mythical but was undoubtedly ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

David Bevington is Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Chair of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago

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