In contrast to the situation in England, France, Italy and Spain, a professional German theater came into existence only belatedly and after a long transitional period during which “English Comedians” or itinerant acting groups from Britain played a key role in the transmission of the Elizabethan repertory and staging achievements. Before their arrival in 1585, German drama was in a state of decline. During the course of the Reformation (1517-55) and the rise of the Counter-Reformation (from 1555), heated partisanship for and against the new faith had pushed the aesthetic realm of poetry (literature as belles lettres) to the point of extinction. Decades of propagandizing in the form of satirical broadsheets, polemical …
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Hoffmeister, Gerhart. "English Comedians in Germany 1585-1700". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 May 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1731, accessed 27 May 2017.]