Date of Award

Summer 1927

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

We have approached our study of the song in Elizabethan Drama with the intention of accounting for the abundance of vocal music in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and of explaining the use of song as a dramatic device. It has been considered necessary to a proper understanding of the place of song in the Romantic Drama to give a rather broad treatment of the subject, including a brief history of the song in the English theatre, the psychology of its origin, and the cause of its decline. Methods of presenting songs have been discussed to strengthen our argument that the primary purpose of song was to provide entertainment; and the interesting question of the omission of songs in the printed copies of plays has been touched upon in the hope of throwing light on the attitude of playwrightes and publishers toward the songs, for the apparent neglect of them seems to be evidence against the theory of their dramatic importance.

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