Love’s Metamorphoses : A love comedy mixing gods and humans in parallel situations which is dense, choric, and transparent, memorably unfolding in pattern, structure and tone that give even its moral candour a haunting sense of beauty: It surely is one of the most unjustly neglected plays in English literature.
Play is set in Arcadia, and is about Ceres and three of her nymphs, Nisa, Celia, and Niobe; the three foresters or shepherds who love them, Ramis, Montanus, and Silvestris; and Cupid. Cupid punishes the nymphs for their disrespect of the shepherds, by transforming them into a rock, a rose, and a bird. Continue reading Love’s Metamorphoses
It is a comedy where wayward young men and their ingenious servants outwit their more prudential elders in bringing their love affairs to a successful conclusion. It is a work of farce and social realism. Play turns on the issue of misconceptions surrounding the efforts of four fathers to secure socially advantageous marriages for their heirs, and the determination of their young servants to exploit their masters’ misguided aspirations for their own advantage. The play is of particular interest to twenty-first century criticism for its focus upon those situated on the margins of the social group, notably Mother Bombie herself, thought by some to be a witch, and the two simpletons whose marital prospects lie at the heart of the action… Continue reading Mother Bombie, A Pleasant Conceited Comedy (1594)
Midas: Midas is an Elizabethan era stage play by John Lyly. It is taken from two separate tales in Ovid’s Metamorphoses XI– the Golden Touch and the Ass’s Ears. The play first portrays Midas’s mistaken choice of a private end, the accumulation of wealth for its own sake and as a means of financing lechery and aggression, and then suggests the difficulties this causes in the governing of his kingdom…. Continue reading Midas (1592)
Gallathea is one of the first Renaissance plays to explore lesbianism. The play is set in a town that depends sacrificing the most beautiful virgin in order to escape retribution from Neptune. This acts as a metaphor for renaissance’s dependence on the sacrifice of virginity in marriage. Without this sacrifice, life would literally cease to exist. The protagonists Gallathea and Phyllida are two of the most beautiful virgins in this village, thus are in danger of being chosen as a sacrifice. Interestingly both girls are willing to sacrifice themselves for their well being of the citizens, but their fathers insist upon disguising them as boys. Continue reading Gallathea (1592)
Endymion: The Man In The Moon. The main plot of this play is related to the title character of Endymion who devotedly admires the goddess of the Moon, Cynthia, but simultaneously pretends to be in love with Tellus. The opening scene presents a conversation between Endymion and his friend Eumenides, in which Endymion confesses that he has fallen in love with the Moon goddess. Eumenides chides Endymion, reminding him of the Moon’s inconstancy, whereupon Endymion extols inconstancy and change as virtues, attributes of everything beautiful. Convinced that Endymion is bewitched, Eumenides prescribes sleep and rest for the lovesick swain, but Endymion rejects the advice and berates his friend. Continue reading Endymion: The Man In The Moon (1591)
The main plot concentrates around Venus, and her plotting against Sapho, the Queen of Sicily. Sapho is virtuous and refuses love and courtship, so Venus, who is jealous of Sapho‟s beauty and virtues, changes a mere ferryman, Phao, into the fairest man among all, assuming that Sapho will not be able to resist the temptation and will fall in love with him. And thus when Sapho and Phao meet, they fall in love with each other. Continue reading Sapho and Phao (1584)
In this Alexander the Great, becomes fond of his Theban captive, Campaspe. She is virtuous and beautiful and the king decides that he wants his painter, Apelles, to paint her. But Apelles and Campaspe fall in love with each other during the painting sessions and they find themselves not able to suppress their affection to please the king. But Alexander‟s generosity wins over his passion for Campaspe and he decides to move his attention back to warfare and permits the couple to get married. Continue reading Alexander and Campaspe (1584)