John Lyly: Gallathea

(1024 words)

The third of Lyly's comedies written for the first Blackfriars theatre but ultimately designed for performance at court, Gallathea (presented before the Queen on New Year's Day 1588, and published in 1592) is regarded by many scholars as Lyly's outstanding dramatic achievement. Like its predecessors (Campaspe and Sapho and Phao) the play turns upon a socially inappropriate passion (here between people of the same sex), and takes as its starting point a number of conventional debate motifs (e.g. love versus chastity). The language of the play is, once again, euphuistic prose, characterised by insistent punning, antithetical constructions, and imagery turning upon ambivalence and the paradoxical union of opposites. …

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Citation:
Scragg, Leah. "Gallathea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10287, accessed 31 October 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Elizabethan