Massinger (Critical Heritage Series)

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Massinger most likely wrote the play in , though its debut on stage was delayed a year, as the theaters were closed due to bubonic plague. The play was first published in , in quarto by stationer Henry Seyle his shop was "in S.

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Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Tygers head". It was continuously in the repertory there and at the Red Bull Theatre, under the managements of Christopher Beeston, William Beeston, and Sir William Davenant, right up to the closing of the theaters at the start of the English Civil War , in The quarto carries a dedication of "this trifle" to Robert Dormer, 1st Earl of Carnarvon, Master Falconer of England he'd succeeded to his hereditary title, Chief Avenor and Keeper of the King's Hawks and Falcons, at the age of six. In this dedication, Massinger states that he was "born a devoted servant to the thrice noble family of your incomparable Lady" Anna Sophia Herbert, daughter of Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke , then serving as Lord Chamberlain.

Massinger's connection to the Herbert family, derived from his father, is well known; whether Carnarvon responded in any way positively to the dedication is obscure. Modern editors of the play note 52 individual editions between and not counting collections ; others have followed since. The excerpt shows the power of the role of Sir Giles may lie in Massinger's success in depicting a blatant villain who has a quality of everyday believability, unlike previous anti-heroes in English theater.

Sir Giles is down-to-earth in his cold malice. In his time, Phillip Massinger was considered nothing more than a second rank Elizabethan playwright, working on collaborations with numerous playwrights of his time. It seems doubtful whether Massinger was ever a popular playwright, for the best qualities of his plays would appeal rather to politicians and moralists than to the ordinary playgoer.

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MASSINGER: THE CRITICAL HERITAGE THE CRITICAL HERITAGE SERIES GENERAL EDITOR: pocdafourreli.gaM, M.A., (OXON.) For Author: Dr Martin. Series: Critical Heritage; Paperback: pages; Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition ( August 14, ); Language: English; ISBN ; ISBN

He contributed, however, at least one great and popular character to the English stage. He made another considerable contribution to the comedy of manners in The City Madam. He translated plays into a variety of languages, including Spanish, English, and Italian, with Italian serving as the conventional locus of the comedies of his day.

His haste in work, and perhaps too little earnestness, prevented him from reaching the highest level. He could not throw his whole weight into the business at hand, but repeated himself, used superficial and hackneyed terms, which abounded in coarseness. In the twenty first century, however, Massinger is admired by modern readers and critics alike.

His qualities of simplicity, saneness, and dramatic effectiveness, rather than lyrical effectiveness, have created a place for him among the third and last generation of Elizabethan writers for the stage. He is now considered an expert in dramatic construction, known for his ability to write effective stage scenes and to portray character. With Thomas Middleton and William Rowley:. Some of these "collaborations" are in fact more complex than they may initially appear. Some collaborations are in fact revisions by Massinger of older plays by Fletcher and other playwrights, etc.

Therefore, it is not necessary to suppose that Massinger, Fletcher, Ford, and Rowley-or-Webster sat down in a room together to write a play, when in fact, they may have just all worked on the same piece. Eleven of these lost plays were manuscripts used by John Warburton's cook for lighting fires and making pies.

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The tragedy, The Jeweller of Amsterdam ca. The list given above represents a consensus of scholarship; individual critics have assigned various other plays, or portions of plays, to Massinger—like the first two acts of The Second Maiden's Tragedy Massinger's independent works were collected by Coxeter 4 vols. Monck Mason 4 vols. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation.

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To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats. The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:. Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed. Philip Massinger. Previous Philip Larkin. Next Philip Roth.

Credits New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. Paul, - Literary Criticism - pages. Mr A V Knowles, A. Routledge, Oct 12, - Literary Criticism - pages. Everyday low prices and free. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible. Other Authors. Knowles, A. Anthony Vere. Paul, By A. Knowles; More than 1 times in Flemish libraries.

Clive Bell, for example, an admirer of Eliots earlier poetry, could react to The Waste Land only by way of polite maliciousness, comparing Eliot to Landor in terms.


The stridency of tone in reviewers such as Squire, Powell and Lucas, or Helen McAfee in America, seems out of proportion to their consciously asserted devaluation of the poem. Humbert Wolfe, on the other hand, though not claiming to understand the poem, was prepared to accept it for its beauty and the thrill induced by that beauty No. Munson saw the poem as the funeral keen of the nineteenth century and an aberration from the realities of the twentieth century, which were to be found in America, not Europe No.

The conflict of views over The Waste Land seems to bear out Gabriel Josipovicis judgment in The Lessons of Modernism that Eliots earlier work resists that fundamental temptation, the temptation to ascribe meaning, and derives its power instead from its embodiment of a sense of awakening, an awakening that is always frightening. There was no doubt, however, amongst the hostile reviewers, of Eliots importance, and, as George Watson put it in , admirers and detractors were equally agreed about the reality of his reputation.

Poems making up the final version of The Hollow Men had appeared in Commerce and Chapbook the previous year. Commenting on Eliots reputation at this point in his career, Edgell Rickword, editor of the Calendar of Modern Letters, was in no doubt that Eliots position was unrivalled, at least amongst those awake to the reality of the art No. It was as the poet who had come closest to the distresses of a post-war generation that Rickword valued him, an exploration that Eliot had achieved through his struggle with technique, a finer realisation of language which reached its height in The Waste Land, only to become gnomically disarticulate in The Hollow Men.

It was the sense of emancipation afforded by Eliots work that was valuable, since it allowed an essential complexity of reaction. Edwin Muir was less certain about the value of the poetry, though he admired Eliots criticism unequivocally. Muirs essay appeared in the Nation New York for 5 August , shortly before the new collection of poems was published. He found a separation between the critic and the poet, in that Eliot aimed to restore the fullness of Elizabethan poetry, in accordance with his critical insights, but succeeded only in producing a diversity of rich effects:.

Mr Eliots poetry is in reality very narrow, and in spite of its great refinement of sensibility, very simple. In the main it is a statement of two opposed experiences: the experiences of beauty and ugliness, of art and reality, of literature and life.

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That is the situation at the end of the Second Act and first part of the play; an appreciation of its significance makes the connection with what follows less arbitrary and inorganic. The city of science and discovery: Newton, Darwin, the Cambridge physicists, the double helix, Stephen Hawking and secrets of the universe. Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat. But that this man is lawlesse; he should find that I am valiant. They have their parallels in his comedy of Woman is a Weathercock , down to the page whose pert asides of satiric comment are anticipated in the earlier work by those of a youngster of identical kidney.

To Mr Eliot in his poetry these are simple groups of reality; their attributes remain constant; they never pass into one another; and there is no intermediate world of life connecting and modifying them. In Muirs view, Eliot aimed at violent contrasts, as in his contrasts between formal beauty and psychological obscenity, that achieved an effect of horror.

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His poetry was inconclusive and fragmentary, lacking seriousness. Muir attacked Eliot for taking up poses and attitudes, not expressing principles and truths, and yet he admitted the work to be unique. This essay was reprinted twice, once that same year in the Nation and Athenaeum, 29 August, and in Transition, a collection of Muirs essays published in New York in Like Muir, Middleton Murry emphasised Eliots critical achievement at the expense of the poetry. Both Woolf and Eliot he considered fine critics, tormented by the longing to create, whose intellectual subtleties gave rise only to futilities.

Eliot, so far from being a classical writer, voiced a cry of grinding and empty desolation no classical art could possibly give order to. Murrys sense of Eliots fragmentariness was so strong that he described it as self-torturing and utter nihilism, which only the Catholic Church could understand. One is forced to recognise that Murrys notion of classicism was limited and that he thought of Christianity mainly in terms of metaphysical certitude, despite his disclaimer in his final footnote.

Thus he failed to see the elements of parody and burlesque in Eliot, taking for personal anguish, like many critics at this time and later, what was rather the exploration of new artistic possibilities.

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What Murry saw in Eliots work was a symptom of the breakdown of civilisation, an expression of the sterility and loss of meaning in modern life. That Eliots poetry at this stage provoked bewilderment, either of irritation or enthusiasm, is witnessed to by I. In his New Statesman review for 20 February No. This technique was increasingly evident in Eliots verse, and at its most extreme in The Hollow Men.

In Science and Poetry Richards was led to assert that Eliot had effected a complete severance between his poetry and all belief, a view challenged by Eliot himself in , in chapter 7 of The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism. At the end of the New Statesman review, however, Richards seemed confident that in the articulation. This account of Eliots significance was added as an appendix to Principles of Literary Criticism when it was reprinted that same year. In the USA, Eliots indigenous and religious characteristics were emphasised.

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For Edmund Wilson, Eliots real significance was less as a prophet of European disintegration than as a poet of the American puritan sensibility, the waste land being the emotional waste land of deprivation and chagrin. He saw in Eliots characters figures comparable to those of James and Hawthorne and at the same time insisted that Eliot was a poet of the first order No. These comments come at the end of an essay on the first performance of Stravinskys Les Noces, a context in which thoughts about Eliot seemed not inappropriate.

For Allen Tate, the new collection was a spiritual epilogue to The Education of Henry Adams, though in Eliot the puritan sense of obligation had withdrawn into private conscience No. Eliot, in returning to the source of his own culture in Europe, had been forced to confront that source with a degree of general theoretical understanding no European found necessary. As a critic and as editor of the Criterion Eliot had proposed as a rememdy for the disorder of the times that critical awareness he envisaged in The Function of Criticism Tate regarded the progressive sterilisation of the poetry as due to a rationalisation of attitude carried over from the critical endeavour, the agony of the earlier poetry being reduced to the chaos of The Hollow Men, the inevitable result of a poetry whose fundamental ground was the idea of chaos itself.

Tate saw this as a poetry of ideas, in contrast to Richards, and for him poet and critic were one. Both Wilson and Tate tried to see Eliot in context, relating the whole oeuvre to larger considerations of American history and culture. In , a number of important studies of Eliot appeared. For example, A. Mortons Notes on the Poetry of T. Eliot linked Eliot to Donne and argued for the unity of his theory and practice. This essay formed the basis of Williamsons book, The Talent of T.

Eliot, published in Eliots importance was by this time beyond all doubt, and in the thoughtful seriousness of his better critics one sees the fact emphasised.