…no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling
you seem to say so.
My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Why did you laugh then, when I said 'man delights not me'?
To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what
lenten entertainment the players shall receive from
you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they
coming, to offer you service.
He that plays the king shall be welcome; his majesty
shall have tribute of me; the adventurous knight
shall use his foil and target; the lover shall not
sigh gratis; the humourous man shall end his part
in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
lungs are tickled o' the sere; and the lady shall
say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt
for't. What players are they?
Even those you were wont to take delight in, the
tragedians of the city.
How chances it they travel? their residence, both
in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
I think their inhibition comes by the means of the
Click here to listen to the Bonus Episode about Richard Burbage, the original interpreter of Hamlet.
The Essex Rebellion
The Essex Rebellion was an unsuccessful rebellion led by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, in 1601. His faction rose up against Queen Elizabeth I and the court faction led by Sir Robert Cecil in the hope of gaining further influence at court.
Children’s Acting Companies
Companies of boy performers, known as children’s or boys’ companies, enjoyed great popularity in Elizabethan England. The young performers were drawn primarily from choir schools attached to the great chapels and cathedrals, where they received musical training and were taught to perform in religious dramas and classical Latin plays. Famous examples included the Children of the Chapel and the Children of Paul’s. During Elizabeth’s reign these groups were formed into highly professional companies, usually consisting of 8 to 12 boys, who gave public performances outside the court. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, these companies were so popular that they posed a serious threat to the professional men’s companies - the ‘innovation’ referred to in this episode.