Reformers On Stage: Popular Drama and Propaganda  in the Low Countries of Charles V, 1515-1556 by Gary K. WaiteReformers On Stage: Popular Drama and Propaganda  in the Low Countries of Charles V, 1515-1556 by Gary K. Waite

Reformers On Stage: Popular Drama and Propaganda in the Low Countries of Charles V, 1515-1556

byGary K. Waite

Hardcover | September 1, 2000

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During the time of Charles V, plays were written and performed by amateur literary and acting societies known as chambers of rhetoric. Members of the chambers saw themselves not only as entertainers, but as religious and cultural leaders, and on the strength of this sense of mission became the most influential performers of vernacular drama in the Low Countries. Gary Waite examines the social and religious messages of the plays presented, showing how they promoted or opposed calls for reform, religious and otherwise.

Presenting an overview of some eighty surviving scripts from across the Low Countries, Waite considers the culture and drama of two distinct urban communities in particular: Antwerp and Amsterdam. He argues that the dramatists promoted a wide range of reform perspectives, but in so doing they reshaped reform ideas to accommodate their own concerns as urban artisans and merchants. In the end, despite their desire for peace, they contributed significantly to the rise of anticlerical sentiment and reform aspirations and to increasing dissatisfaction with Habsburg rule.

Offering perspectives gleaned from primary material that is available only in sixteenth-century Dutch, this study adds significantly to existing scholarship on the local ramifications of the Reformation in the Low Countries.

Gary K. Waite is a professor in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.
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Title:Reformers On Stage: Popular Drama and Propaganda in the Low Countries of Charles V, 1515-1556Format:HardcoverDimensions:440 pages, 9.3 × 6.15 × 1.41 inPublished:September 1, 2000Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing DivisionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0802044573

ISBN - 13:9780802044570

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During the reign of Charles V, stage performances served not only to entertain but to guide the audience in religious or cultural issues. In the Low Countries, vernacular drama was one of the most significant influences for religious and social change. Reformers on Stage presents some 80 surviving scripts, focussing on the distinct communities of Antwerp and Amsterdam and showing the extent to which these productions influenced society towards anti-clerical and anti-Hapsburg sentiment.