Staging the Henrician Court : The Play

This page last changed on Dec 07, 2009 by Eleanor Rycroft.

'The Play of the Weather' was printed by William Rastell in 1533 and may well have received a performance at court prior to this date, although this is not verifiable. However the play seems to address not only courtly issues and the court, but also Henry VIII himself in its consideration of political factions and absolute power. Much critical attention has centred on the speech made by Merry Report about Jupiter's "making of a new moon": dialogue which seems to obliquely gesture towards the transition of queenship from Catherine of Aragon to Anne Boleyn. Compelling internal evidence that the play may have been performed in a dining hall, as Greg Walker has noted, is provided when the Boy states that Jupiter has come from heaven, "this night to sup here with my lord" (lines 1049-50).

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