Development of University Drama in Tudor Age
The university drama in England in the Tudor age was formed because of some special conditions. These special conditions were existed with full force for around 100 years, from the closing decade of Tudor King Henry VIII’s reign to the outburst of the civil war.
This was the era of the popular renaissance movement, which was significantly responsible for its development. Before this period, the universities like Oxford and Cambridge would keep a very small place for the brilliant plays. Many of the great ecclesiastical centers of the universities had very insufficient amount of stuff. But, things started changing during this era, and the ignored classics from the ancient literature were reintroduced.
The Latin dramas on Biblical subjects were played in Cambridge. But, there are not records of the plays being performed in Oxford. Whether or not, these plays were well-known in Oxford also, which influenced the work of first dramatist named Nicholas Grimald. Archipropheta was one of the famous plays of Grimald. It was based on the career of John the Baptist.
Cambridge also continued to perform these plays. John Christopherson was one of the famous writers who blended humanist enthusiasm with strict Roman Catholic orthodoxy throughout his career in a remarkable degree. He was the original member of the foundation at Pembroke Hall, St. John's, and Trinity. He retired to the Continent during the reign of Edward VI, and spent some part of his time in Italy, and other part at Louvain, which was a haven for English Roman Catholic refugees.
It is a surprising fact that the light comedies were thrown aside before the period of Queen Elizabeth. Value was given to some so-called ‘weighty and solid’ tragedies.
Queen Elizabeth had the hierarchal interest for theatrical entertainments. She visited both Cambridge and Oxford in 1564 and 1566 respectively. Moreover, she revisited Oxford in the year 1592. These visits boosted the trend of the university dramas.
These dramas set the benchmarks for the cultural development of Europe in the future. Drama king Shakespeare may also have the influence of these plays. These creations of the renaissance period became the source of appreciation of art and cultural during that period also. People’s lifestyle was also highly affected by the cultural development. Clothing of the people during that period can be the best example in this regard.
People stopped wearing the natural style renaissance costumes, and they adopted the flamboyant costumes. The impact of the university dramas and costumes can be witnessed in today’s scenario also. The Tudor era costumes have gained widespread popularity in the themed events.