Artistic integrity in Woodstock

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kay Phillips Williams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
James Wimsatt

Abstract: Study of the anonymous Elizabethan drama Woodstock has heretofore been directed externally to the play's relationship to Marlowe's Edward II and to Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI and Richard II. Much attention has been devoted to an explanation of the literary relations of the drama but none to an explanation of how the play works, its function as art. The organization of Woodstock toward poetic purposes is indicative of the nature of the development of the history play from the chronicle play. Mature history plays utilize form as a vehicle of meaning in contrast to the purely ornamental or episodic structure of earlier chronicle dramas. The concept of integrity is more exclusive than the concept of unity: rather than simply a relationship of parts, integrity connotes an organic condition, in which the relation of parts is not always fully amenable to separate analysis but must be considered as a total experience (gestalt) of analogous actions. The action of Woodstock is to find a rationale for disobedience to the king in order to save the state from economic and territorial disintegration. This action, in addition to the progress of plot events, is imitated in the interacting functions of the disease metaphor, the condition of inversion, and the masque-clothing metaphor.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1970
Drama $y 15th and 16th centuries

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