Language and Politics in the Sixteenth-century History Play

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Language and Politics in the Sixteenth-Century History Play examines a key preoccupation of historical drama in the period 1538-1600: the threat presented by uncivil language. 'Unlicensed' speech informs the presentation of political debate in Tudor history plays and it is also the subject of their most daring political speculations. By analyzing plays by John Bale, Thomas Norton, Thomas Sackville, and Robert Greene, as well as Shakespeare, this study also argues for a more inclusive approach to the genre.