This book considers and illustrates the stage history of the play, and provides an account of the authorship controversy from the mid-nineteenth century, when John Fletcher's name was first put forward as a collaborator, to recent scholarship, which has not yet reached a consensus. The introduction considers the political and religious background of the play, its pageant-like structure and visual effects, and its varied ironies. The commentary is detailed but concise, explaining difficult passages and contemporary references, and suggesting how the play might have been staged in an Elizabethan theater, or might still be staged for a modern audience.
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