Difference between revisions of "Knight in the Burning Rock, The"

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[[Playwright's Name]] ([[Year]])
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[[Anon.]] ([[1579]])
The anonymous "History of the Knight in the Burnyng Rock" was performed for the court by Warwick's men at Whitehall on Shrove Sunday 1579.
 
  
 
==Historical Records==
 
==Historical Records==
 
Our only knowledge of it comes from the Revels accounts, which demonstrate that it was provided not only with "sundry garments and properties" but with an elaborate setting and a number of effects, including a mechanical throne made to operate within the rock, and pyrotechnics to simulate flames. The construction of the scenic rock itself, from timber and canvas, involved several  specialist workmen, and it perhaps was made to move, given the romance story on which it was probably based.
 
Our only knowledge of it comes from the Revels accounts, which demonstrate that it was provided not only with "sundry garments and properties" but with an elaborate setting and a number of effects, including a mechanical throne made to operate within the rock, and pyrotechnics to simulate flames. The construction of the scenic rock itself, from timber and canvas, involved several  specialist workmen, and it perhaps was made to move, given the romance story on which it was probably based.
<Reproduce relevant documentary evidence from historical records here. (For example, entries from Henslowe's Diary).>
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John Rose was paid for "Longe sparre poles of ffure" and "peeces of Elme cut compasse", as well as for "Lead for the chaire of the burnyng Knight" (as a counterweight in the machinery), John Davies supplied "Aquavite to burne in the same Rock," "Rosewater to Alay the smell thereof," and glass vessels to contain them. (Feuillerat, 306-308).
 
John Rose was paid for "Longe sparre poles of ffure" and "peeces of Elme cut compasse", as well as for "Lead for the chaire of the burnyng Knight" (as a counterweight in the machinery), John Davies supplied "Aquavite to burne in the same Rock," "Rosewater to Alay the smell thereof," and glass vessels to contain them. (Feuillerat, 306-308).
 
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==Theatrical Provenance==
 
==Theatrical Provenance==
  
<Enter information about which company performed the play, and where/when it was performed, etc.>
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The anonymous "History of the Knight in the Burnyng Rock" was performed for the court by Warwick's men at Whitehall on Shrove Sunday (1 March) 1579.  
 
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[[category:Warwick's]] [[category:Whitehall]]
 
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==Probable Genre(s)==
 
==Probable Genre(s)==
  
<List possible genres of the play: if noted by a critic, cite them, e.g. "Comedy (Harbage)". If an original speculation, simply list the genre.>
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Heroical Romance (?) (Harbage)
The play was evidently based on romance material, featuring chivalric conflict, probably with a theme of enchantment. No evident English source is apparent before the date of the play, but in 1640 a "history" with the same title forms part of The Love and Arms of the Greek Princes (see Chapter 46), a translation of Gilbert Saulnier's Le Romant des Romans, published in 1625. The story told there involves an enchanted rock mysteriously moving into knightly courts for three days at a time, inviting those bold enough to free the imprisoned maiden visible within; as they approach, a fierce knight appears, whose blows are felt like flames. Alcidamant, Knight of the Palms, eventually overcomes him, freeing him from his enchanted identity; his feat leads Alcidamant to take on the title of the Knight of the Burning Rock. It seems likely that a common older romance source lies behind both the play and Saulnier's story.
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==Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues==
 
==Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues==
  
<Enter any information about possible or known sources. Summarise these sources where practical/possible, or provide an excerpt from another scholar's discussion of the subject if available.>
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The play was evidently based on romance material, featuring chivalric conflict, probably with a theme of enchantment. No evident English source is apparent before the date of the play, but in 1640 a "history" with the same title forms part of ''The Love and Arms of the Greek Princes'' (see Chapter 46), a translation of Gilbert Saulnier's ''Le Romant des Romans'', published in 1625. The story told there involves an enchanted rock mysteriously moving into knightly courts for three days at a time, inviting those bold enough to free the imprisoned maiden visible within; as they approach, a fierce knight appears, whose blows are felt like flames. Alcidamant, Knight of the Palms, eventually overcomes him, freeing him from his enchanted identity; his feat leads Alcidamant to take on the title of the Knight of the Burning Rock. It seems likely that a common older romance source lies behind both the play and Saulnier's story.
  
  
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==References to the Play==
 
==References to the Play==
  
<List any known or conjectured references to the lost play here.>
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(Information welcome)
  
  
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==Critical Commentary==
 
==Critical Commentary==
  
<Summarise any critical commentary that may have been published by scholars. Please maintain an objective tone!>
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The Revels records were expertly edited by Albert Feuillerat more than a hundred years ago. His work formed the basis of E. K. Chambers' discussions of court plays and their staging in ''The Elizabethan Stage'' (Oxford, 1923). More recently, John Astington has discussed the probable staging of the play in "Counterweights in Elizabethan Stage Machinery", as well as in ''English Court Theatre 1558-1642''.
The Revels records were expertly edited by Albert Feuillerat more than a hundred years ago: Documents relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth (Leuven, 1908). His work formed the basis of E. K. Chambers' discussions of court plays and their staging in The Elizabethan Stage (Oxford, 1923). More recently, John Astington has discussed the probable staging of the play in "Counterweights in Elizabethan Stage Machinery," Theatre Notebook, 41 (1987), 73-80, as well as in English Court Theatre 1558-1642 (Cambridge, 1999).
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See also [[WorksCited|Wiggins]] serial number 659.
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==For What It's Worth==
 
==For What It's Worth==
  
<Enter any miscellaneous points that may be relevant, but don't fit into the above categories. This is the best place for highly conjectural thoughts.>
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(Information welcome)
 
 
  
  
 
==Works Cited==
 
==Works Cited==
  
<List all texts cited throughout the entry, except those staple texts whose full bibliographical details have been provided in the masterlist of Works Cited found on the sidebar menu.>
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Astington, John. "Counterweights in Elizabethan Stage Machinery," ''Theatre Notebook'' 41 (1987), 73-80.<br>
 
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---. ''English Court Theatre 1558-1642'' (Cambridge, 1999)<br>
 
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Feuillerat, Albert. ''Documents relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth'' (Leuven, 1908)
<If you haven't done so already, also add here any key words that will help categorise this play. Use the following format, repeating as necessary: [[category:example]]>
 
 
 
  
Site created and maintained by [[your name]], affiliation; updated DD Month YYYY.
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Site created and maintained by [[John Astington|John H. Astington]], University of Toronto; updated 23 August 2010.
 
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[[category:all]]
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Latest revision as of 17:22, 6 February 2013

Anon. (1579)

Historical Records

Our only knowledge of it comes from the Revels accounts, which demonstrate that it was provided not only with "sundry garments and properties" but with an elaborate setting and a number of effects, including a mechanical throne made to operate within the rock, and pyrotechnics to simulate flames. The construction of the scenic rock itself, from timber and canvas, involved several specialist workmen, and it perhaps was made to move, given the romance story on which it was probably based.

John Rose was paid for "Longe sparre poles of ffure" and "peeces of Elme cut compasse", as well as for "Lead for the chaire of the burnyng Knight" (as a counterweight in the machinery), John Davies supplied "Aquavite to burne in the same Rock," "Rosewater to Alay the smell thereof," and glass vessels to contain them. (Feuillerat, 306-308).

Theatrical Provenance

The anonymous "History of the Knight in the Burnyng Rock" was performed for the court by Warwick's men at Whitehall on Shrove Sunday (1 March) 1579.

Probable Genre(s)

Heroical Romance (?) (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

The play was evidently based on romance material, featuring chivalric conflict, probably with a theme of enchantment. No evident English source is apparent before the date of the play, but in 1640 a "history" with the same title forms part of The Love and Arms of the Greek Princes (see Chapter 46), a translation of Gilbert Saulnier's Le Romant des Romans, published in 1625. The story told there involves an enchanted rock mysteriously moving into knightly courts for three days at a time, inviting those bold enough to free the imprisoned maiden visible within; as they approach, a fierce knight appears, whose blows are felt like flames. Alcidamant, Knight of the Palms, eventually overcomes him, freeing him from his enchanted identity; his feat leads Alcidamant to take on the title of the Knight of the Burning Rock. It seems likely that a common older romance source lies behind both the play and Saulnier's story.


References to the Play

(Information welcome)


Critical Commentary

The Revels records were expertly edited by Albert Feuillerat more than a hundred years ago. His work formed the basis of E. K. Chambers' discussions of court plays and their staging in The Elizabethan Stage (Oxford, 1923). More recently, John Astington has discussed the probable staging of the play in "Counterweights in Elizabethan Stage Machinery", as well as in English Court Theatre 1558-1642.

See also Wiggins serial number 659.


For What It's Worth

(Information welcome)


Works Cited

Astington, John. "Counterweights in Elizabethan Stage Machinery," Theatre Notebook 41 (1987), 73-80.
---. English Court Theatre 1558-1642 (Cambridge, 1999)
Feuillerat, Albert. Documents relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth (Leuven, 1908)




Site created and maintained by John H. Astington, University of Toronto; updated 23 August 2010.