It has been argued that Merry Report exposes the role of licensed merriment at court; the ability to criticise the monarch within formal parameters being a feature of the acceptance of wise counsel by a king. How did Heywood's position in the royal household reflect and inform his writing? How far was his work limited by being a courtier, or was his capacity to influence royal policy actually enhanced by his office?
I wonder if it is accurate to describe Heywood as a courtier. He certainly worked at court and appears to have good connections with some very powerful people - connections that crossed religious and / or fractional divides. But did Heywood play the role of the courtier? Indeed can someone not from an aristocractic background really be regarded as a courtier? I am not sure that it is accurate to describe Thomas More as a courtier precisely for this reason.
Posted by Tom Betteridge at Dec 22, 2009 23:44