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116Comparative Drama him and the very men of power whom he ridicules. Even Faustus's apostrophe to Helen raises the question of his fitness to serve as an epic hero. Shepard considers the scene in light of the Renaissance reception of classical texts, an approach that he uses fruitfully in discussing Dido, Queen ofCarthage as well. Faustus seems to imagine himself playing the role of Paris, a less-than-heroic role. Effeminate, changeable, and reckless to the point ofbeing foolhardy, Paris was not the Renaissance model of a hero. Throughout the play, other characters refer to Faustus's magic as an "art" in a way that Shepard thinks diminishes the role of "art" in general. But, says Shepard, the references also function to suggest that a brotherhood of artists develops across national lines and ultimately threatens early modern nationbuilding by creating an alliance potentially unaffected by national boundaries. Shepard's work sometimes seems to scramble for a foothold amidst the criticism of the best-known plays in Marlowe's oeuvre. But the chapters on Tamburlaine and Faustus that frame the rest are necessary parts of this book: thematically as well as figuratively, they frame the arguments of the medial chapters. Shepard wisely acknowledges the allure ofMarlovian hypermilitarism, and in his placing ofthat ethos against the still more celebrated Marlovian skepticism , he offers many useful insights, particularly in his readings of the playwright's less celebrated plays. Jennifer A. Low FloridaAtlantic University Richard Rastall. Minstrels Playing: Music in Early English Religious Drama. Vol. 2. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2001. Pp. xxi + 549. $110.00. Minstrels Playingis the second volume of Richard Rastall's monumental study of the role of music in the English cycle plays and other, mostly civic, religious drama of the late Middle Ages. Whereas the first volume, The Heaven Singing (reviewed in Comparative Drama 33: 532-35), provided a comparative, discursive , and altogether more monographic approach, the volume under review here cuts the other way, presenting a kind of handbook for both scholars and performers of this large and significant body of work. The book is divided into four sections: the first three present, respectively, the (mostly cyclic) biblical plays; saint and miracle plays; and fictional morality plays. A brieffinal section discusses a range of considerations for modern music directors and performers ,drawing upon Rastall's own experience with a number ofrecent productions. Reviews117 Rastall's approach is characteristically methodical, with each play or cycle subjected to detailed analysis according to a consistent pattern: after an introduction laying out basic historical and bibliographical information, each chapter proceeds through an examination ofdramatic directions (generally presented in tabular form), references in the text to music, appearances of Latin (including liturgical) passages, and, in the case of the civic cycles, payments to musicians from the surviving documentary record. The final section of each chapter furnishes a cue list, in which all possible occurrences of music (both certain and putative) are given as numbered items,keyed to the points at which they should appear in the playtext. The substance of this book can best be characterized in two ways. First, it constitutes the raw data from which volume 1 was produced: Rastall leaves no stone unturned in his search for opportunities for musical performance in the plays,examining everyoccurrence ofsuch terms as blow, song, we/away,or loud and still in the plays' spoken lines, and assessing whether each instance should be read in a literal or metaphorical sense. The book provides added value in the area of Latin texts in the plays, in that every incidence of Latin, down to the smallest"amen,"isbrought forward for investigation. In many—perhaps most— instances, Rastall provides some variation on the conclusion that "there is no question of singing this passage" (passim); however, he arrives at this from a variety of directions, taking into account the role of the word or phrase in a stanza's metrical or rhyme structure,its relationship to an adjacent English paraphrase of the same text, or its biblical or liturgical associations. In the latter cases, Rastall's encyclopedic familiarity with the relevant pre-Reformation liturgical uses and their music results in a rich palette of options for actual...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 116-120
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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