William Prynne (). Histrio-mastix. The players scourge, or, actors tragædie, divided into two parts. Wherein it is largely evidenced, by divers arguments. Vol. 6. The Drama to , Part Two. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. – Histrio-mastix The players scourge, or, actors tragædie, divided into two parts. Wherein it is largely By William Prynne, an vtter-barrester of Lincolnes Inne.

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Apparently, Prynne was punished largely because of his comments on female stage actors. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Prynne was released from prison during the Long Parliament. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In consequence, Prynne was immediately imprisoned and a year later stripped of his academic degrees, ejected from the legal profession, and placed in the pillory at Westminster and Cheapside; his books were burned before him, his ears hiatriomastix partially cut off, and he was remanded to life imprisonment though later released by Parliament.

Stage-Plays are thus odious, unseemly, pernicious, and unlawful unto Christians in the precedent respects [they were invented by idolatrous pagans and infidels for prynne worship] so likewise are they in regard of their ordinary style, and subject matter; which no Christian can or dares to patronize: Prynne’s book was not by any means the first such attack on the stage, [2] though it certainly was the longest. The title page of the first edition is erroneously dated ; as a result many sources cite this as the date of publication.

Histriomastix represents the culmination of the Puritan attack on the English Renaissance theatre and celebrations such as Christmasas noted in the following: Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I, was quite a patroness of the arts, and had herself recently performed in a pastoral masque play when Histriomastix was published.

Histrio Mastix: The Players Scourge, or, Actors tragoedie

Styles of Belief, Devotion, and Culture. Some of the remarks, especially about “women actors, notorious whores” and “scurrilous amorous pastorals,” were thought to refer directly to the queen, who produced as well as acted in several masques and pastorals. By William Prynne, an vtter-barrester of Lincolnes Inne. pryjne


John Milton, Samson Agonistes. The Personal Rule of Charles I. And that the profession of play-poets, of stage-players; together with the penning, acting, and frequenting of stage-playes, are unlawfull, infamous and misbeseeming Christians.

For the play by John Marston, see Histriomastix play. It hath been always reputed dishonorable, shameful, infamous, for Emperors, Kings, or Princes to come upon a theater to dance, to masque, or act a part in any public or private Interludes, to delight themselves or others.

Retrieved 30 June Effeminate, lascivious, amorous dancing, especially with beautiful women, or boys most exquisitely adorned in an infecting womanish dress on the open stage, where are swarms of lustful spectators, whose unchaste unruly lusts are apt to be enflamed with every wanton gesture, smile, or pace, much more with amorous dances is utterly unlawful unto Christians, to chaste and sober persons; as sundry Councils, Fathers, modern Christians, with ancient Pagan authors and nations, have resolved.

Date Place of Publication London Availability This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership.

The book condemns most aspects of dramatic performance in its era, from the practice of boy actors representing women to the “obscene lascivious love songs, most melodiously chanted out upon the stage Gent dies after looking down a loaded longbow.

Running to over a thousand pages, and with a main title of 43 lines, Histriomastix marshals a multitude of ancient and medieval authorities against the “sin” of dramatic performance.

One of his earliest and best known works was Histriomastixa attack on just about anything considered fun. William Prynne was an English lawyer and writer, famous for his provocative and controversial essays.

Histriomastix – Wikipedia

Author Prynne, William, Inthe antiquarian E. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History. As for actors of the opposite gender, Prynne offered a simple but biting four-word assessment:. The Player’s Scourge; or, Actor’s Tragedy. Subscription or UK public library membership required.


Explore this text with Voyant Tools this link takes you to the voyant-tools. At Prynne’s trial, some fifty separate and allegedly seditious excerpts from the book were quoted; but the one that has attracted most attention from subsequent critics is Prynne’s attack on women actors as “notorious whores.

The handwritten note goes on to offer up this criticism:. During his imprisonment, Prynne continued to produce anonymous pamphlets attacking prynnf of histrioomastix Anglican Churchwhich induced the authorities, into inflict further mutilation: Retrieved from ” https: The Player’s Scourge; or, Actor’s Tragedy In this passionate tirade of over one thousand pages larded with authorities in text prrynne margins — classical philosophers, church fathers, Protestant theologians — Prynne denounced stage plays, cross-dressed male actors, court masques, mixed dancing in masques and everywhere else, maypoles, wakes and other rural festivals, country sports on the sabbath, Laudian ritual, stained-glass windows and much more, staking out the most extreme Puritan position on traditional recreations at court and in the countryside.

What wantonness, what effeminacy parallel to that which our men-women actors, in all their feminine, yea, sometimes in their masculine parts express upon the theater? Historiomastix histrriomastix criticised parties, masquerade balls, country fairs, mixed dancing, feast days, wakes, sports, even hairstyles and colourful stained-glass windows.

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The 17th Century: Topic 3: Texts and Contexts

This page was last edited on 13 Aprilat King Charles the Martyr. Content may not be republished without our express permission.

And that the Prosession of Play-poets, of Stage-playes, are unlawfull, infamous and misbeseeming Christians.

The Player’s Scourge, or Actor’s Tragedy is a critique of professional theatre and actors, written by the Puritan author and controversialist William Prynne. And dare we men, we Christians yet applaud it? The Execution of Charles I.