Abstract

Remarkably, the iconoclastic assault on Catholic popular devotion promoted by Thomas Cromwell spurred the development of Tudor comedy, particularly that of grammar school author and noted evangelical polemicist Nicholas Udall, the "father of English comedy." Cromwell richly rewarded him for one of his Eton plays and Udall thereafter wrote "Comoedias plures" for Catherine Parr. Consistent with Cromwell's antipapist propaganda, featuring mockery by "quick wits," Udall's Henrician farce Thersites (1537) employed once-familiar tropes of godly comedy—a burlesque magical ritual, the idolatrous "Mother Mass," scatological Eucharistic conceits, and an absurd catalog of superstitious relics—at the height of the campaign against monastic reliquaries.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 281-303
Launched on MUSE
2007-06-11
Open Access
No
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