First published in English 1961, this reissue relates the problems of form and style to the development of dramatic speech in pre-Shakespearean tragedy. The work offers positive standards by which to assess the development of pre-Shakespearean drama and, by tracing certain characteristics in Elizabethan tragedy which were to have a bearing on Shakespeare’s dramatic technique, helps to illuminate the foundations on which Shakespeare built his dramatic oeuvre.
`Professor Clemen’s study provides not merely judicious guidance in the study of what can be known about the works in the period he covers but a body of observations that reminds the student that there is still much to do in establishing the historical background of the dramatic development he so ably plots for us.’ - The Times Literary Supplement
`A work of elegant and exact scholarship which has already established itself as the best book on the subject and from which the study of Shakespeare will also benefit.’ – Essays in Criticism
`Both in detail and in the structural outlines of his thesis, Professor Clemen pursues and illustrates his central ideas with clarity and precision.’ – Critical Quarterly
Part 1 1. Introduction 2. The Set Speech in Renaissance Drama and Contemporary Theory 3. The Basic Types of Dramatic Set Speech Part 2 4. Gorboduc 5. English Classical Plays 6. Locrine 7. Kyd 8. Marlowe I. Tamburlaine 9. Imitations of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine. Selimus and The Wounds of Civil War 10. Marlowe II. The Later Plays 11. Peele 12. Greene 13. Popular Drama and History Plays Part 3 14. The Dramatic Lament and Its Forms 15. The Pre-Shakespearian Dramatic Lament