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See detailThe Politics of Happiness in Richard Brome’s The Queen and Concubine
Steveker, Lena UL

in Critical Survey (2020), 32(3), 70-81

Drama written for the commercial stage during the 1630s has long been seen as falling neatly into two categories: the majority of plays is seen as reflecting a courtly taste for cultural escapism believed ... [more ▼]

Drama written for the commercial stage during the 1630s has long been seen as falling neatly into two categories: the majority of plays is seen as reflecting a courtly taste for cultural escapism believed to have been cultivated during a time in which the court increasingly found itself in opposition to the rest of the country. In contrast, a smaller group of plays is read as 'opposition drama' voicing thinly veiled discontent with Charles I’s personal rule. In this article, I challenge this critical dichotomy by arguing that Richard Brome’s The Queen and Concubine, written for the King’s Revels company in 1635-36, affirms notions of good government which are central to Caroline ideals of kingship. As I show, Brome’s play uses its female protagonist Eulalia, banished Queen of Sicily, in order to promote a politics of happiness that draws on the iconography of Charles I as well as on ideals of statecraft endorsed by the English king in the 1630s. [less ▲]

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