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The first page of the photo-facsimile text of Gorboduc by Sackville and Norton (1565) proved that the drama was once performed because it stated where the play was performed, the day, year and the acting group that performed for the Queen, "...sett forthe as the same was shewed before the Quenes most excellent Maiestie, in her highnes court of Whitehall, the. xviij day of lanuary, anno Domini. 1561. By the Gentlemen of Ihynner Temple in London". In addition to this information, the first page also proved that this drama was at the time meant to be read because it indicated where it was printed, the year, as well as where it was sold, "imprynted at London: in Fletestrete, at the signe of the Faucon by William Griffith: and are to be sold at his shop in Saincte Dunstones Churchyarde in the west of London, Anno. 1565. Septemb. 22".Â Contrastingly to The Four PP's title page which only indicated the title, the author and a drawing of three characters, "The playe called the Four PP a newe and a very mery enterlude of a palmer, a pardoner, a potycary, a pedler" (Heywood). The final page of the text solely mentioned the printer, "imprinted at London in Fletenrete at the lpgne of the Geozge by Wyilyan Byddpiton" (Heywood).
The textual features that have been systematically used to show that this text was either meant for performance or was performed at some point in time was within the title page which informed the reader of the authors, the title, the city of publication, the publisher, and the date. The presentation of words on the page as a dramatic text was also evident in the second and third page of the text which revealed "thargument of the tragedie" and "the names of the speakers" (Sackville and Norton). The text had been made uniform in the arrangement and presentation of words on the page as a dramatic text, as distinct from a non-dramatic text because of its resemblance to Seneca's writing style which involved "...unannounced changes of setting, sudden entries and exits, dumb shows, ...no implicit stage directions,... [Rhetoric devices],... lurid descriptive passages,...highly effective set speeches,...choral odes, ... [and] numerous examples of precepts and 'lessons' based on...philosophy"(Beacham). An example of an unannounced change of setting can be read in Act Two between the transition from scene one and two, where the reader is taken from Ferrex's half of England to Porrex's half. Throughout the text there are no indications of sudden exits. However before each scene the characters within the specific scene were mentioned, for example Act two, scene one states "Ferrex. Hermon. Dordan" and Act two, scene two states "Porrex. Tyndar. Philander". The characters names were also written above their speech in the text. Every Act and scene was indicated in Latin, for example Act four was written as "Abus Quintas" and scene two was written as "scena secunda". The dumb shows began every Act and the chorus concluded every Act except for the final Act. The text was written in blank verse, using various rhetorical devices for example, fire was a reoccurring motif throughout the text, Gorboduc stated in Act three, scene one, "send down your wasting flames from wrathful skies to reave me and my sons the hateful breath". The theme and lesson of Gorboduc was succession within the country of England, "the cause that first began and still maintains the lineal course of kings' inheritance" (Sackville and Norton). There also appeared to be page numbering on the right bottom corner of every page of the text in roman numerals. The features that were missing among the unannounced entries and exits within the text were setting, character movement, as well as character appearance descriptions.
2. Using EEBO, find the 1570 text of the same play, but under the name Ferrex and Porrex. Locate and read the printer's preface to the reader. How does the printer explain the relationship between this and the earlier 1565 text? What are the implications of the trope he develops for our understanding of dramatic manuscripts and their printing? Should we believe him?
John Daye, the printer from 1570 describes the relationship between the 1570 text and the earlier 1565 text as portraying the work of the earlier printer's dishonestly. He stated in the printer's preface to the reader that, "â€¦one W.G. getting a copie thereof at some youngmans hand, that lacked a litle money and much discretion, â€¦an.1565 about five years past, while the said Lord was out of England and , T. Norton farre out of London, and neither of them both made priuie". W.G. referred to the printer of the 1565 text, Daye accused him of stealing the text without receiving permission from Lord Buckhurst or Thomas Norton to publish it, he stated "â€¦and never intended by the authors thereof to be published". Daye developed the readers understanding of dramatic manuscripts and their printing through the implications of the trope. Daye used the metaphor to compare the unauthorized text of 1565 to the rape of a woman, he stated "even as if by meanes of a broker for here he should have enticed into his house a faire maide and done her villanie, and after all tobescratched her face, torne her apparel, berayed and disfigured her, and then thrust her out of doors dishonested". It is evident that Daye was comparing the 1565 text to the rape of a woman when he stated, "for she is by my encouragement and others somewhat leffe ashamed of the dishonestie done to her because it was by fraude and force". Daye used a hyperbole throughout the entirety of his preface, first comparing his claims of the unauthorized text to the rape of a woman and then concluding that she had been reconciled of her sins or that her stolen chastity had been restored through the help of her friends, who symbolized Daye's interference. He stated "if the be welcome among you and gently entertained, in fraud of the home from whenfe she is descended, and of her owne nature courtly only disposed to offend no man, her frendes will thanke you for it". He further claimed that he believed the authors would have been satisfied and pleased that their work had been revised to state the true nature of its previous publication and re-released to the public. Daye also used personification by describing the unauthorized text with human characteristics, he described that the text felt ashamed and that it was forced to wear "one poore blacke gowne" that had been "lined with white" because of Daye's revision. The title page of Daye's printing was completely different compared to the 1565 version which displayed the sign of the falcon by William Griffith. Daye's title page stated "The Tragedie of Ferrex and Porrex, set forth without addition or alteration but altogether as the same was shewed on stage before the Queenes Maiejtie, about nine years past, vz. the xviij. day of lanuarie. 1561. by the gentlemen of the Inner temple/ seen and allowed./ imprinted at London by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate". There were two great distinctions between W.G.'s title page and Daye's which were that Sackville and Norton were mentioned in the 1565 version, whereas in Daye's they were referred to as gentlemen of the Inner temple. This signifies that Daye's claim that the authors did not want the text published could be potentially true. As well Daye's title page indicated that his publication had been seen and approved by others to be sold to the public, which could indicate that the reader had reason to believe his allegations made against W.G.
3. Using the library's licensed databases or Google Scholar, find a scholarly journal article about some aspect of the play that interests you. You might consider, for example, some aspect of its style or genre, or the conditions of its first performance. Alternatively, you might consider an important context for the play, in which case the article may or may not address the play or its authorship directly. The more specific your search parameters, the easier it will be to find a relevant article. Briefly annotate the article, explaining in one or two sentences its argument or thesis, and then explain how that argument is developed through the article. What criteria does the article meet or fail to meet to make it a valuable secondary source for you?
The scholarly journal article, Community, Authority, and the Motherland in Sackville and Norton's "Gorboduc" by Jacqueline Vanhouette argued that the political issue regarding Queen Elizabeth's succession was persuaded in the text by Sackville and Norton through not only parliamentary advice of marrying, but by "emotionally legitimate" advice that further questioned the symbolism of England as the mother land (Vanhouette 227). She concluded that throughout historical drama, women characters have been depicted by using "their maternal power to undermine the bonds that tie men to the motherland" (Vanhouette 237). Firstly, the argument was developed by describing Sackville and Norton's political intentions and their ambitions that were represented throughout the text. The play was sponsored by Robert Dudley who was also at the time the revels prince of the Inner Temple for the season. Furthermore the play proposed that Queen Elizabeth should have married an Englishman such as Robert Dudley to have ensured the stability of England. The theme of nationalism in the text exemplified that the monarchy did not receive its power solely from the divine, but from the motherland. Secondly, the argument was developed by describing "the rules of kind" in the play in which Queen Elizabeth should have married an Englishman because "nature hath her order and her course" (Vanhouette 230, Sackville and Norton). If Queen Elizabeth had married a foreigner and had obeyed her duties as wife to him and to his county, England would have had to do the same and this would have altered the natural legitimate inheritance which belonged to an Englishman. Thirdly, she argued that the character Videna "institutes a divorce between actual family relations and the laws of kind" by killing her son Porrex (Vanhouette 233). This concluded that Gorboduc represented an emotional relationship with the idea of nationalism by creating a nationalist allegiance to any actions harmful to England. Moreover this issue argued that there must be male control within the feminized motherland, which suggested that if Queen Elizabeth followed the national regulations of inheritance, she would have gave her control and power to her male counterpart. Nonetheless, Queen Elizabeth identified herself as the motherland by maintaining her political authority and not participating in the sacrament of marriage, thus avoiding biological motherhood.
I believe this is a valuable secondary source because the author sufficiently contextualized and supported her thesis. She utilized quotes from the Sackville and Norton text as well as quotes from various scholars who have studied Elizabethan drama to argue her thesis. Furthermore, she offered the reader an informative summary of the relevant people and events that were utilized in her argument, such as the Inner Temple, Queen Elizabeth, Robert Dudley, as well as descriptive background information that informed the reader of the controversy that surrounded succession during Queen Elizabeth's reign.