Arden Of Faversham Critical Analysis

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The play Arden of Faversham follows the Renaissance genre of tragedy, yet it focuses on the domestic sphere in the unconventional setting of Arden and Alice’s home, rather than the courtly setting of most tragedies written in the Elizabethan period, in the realm of nobility. While most tragedies following this genre concern themselves with the authority of those in the noble court, Arden of Faversham’s primary concern is with the authority within their own home.
As theatre began shifting away from the political sphere in the Elizabethan period and focused more on comedic and tragic genres, playwrights were able to feature more intimate and domestic issues in their spectacles, but still regarded courtly settings as the appropriate setting
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This is demonstrated after Gaveston reads the letter brought to him from the king, as he states, “What greater blisse can hap to Gaveston,/ Then live and be the favorit of a king?” (Edward I.I 4-5). This letter is calling Gaveston back to Edward’s court, Gaveston’s exile and return is a reoccurring theme throughout the play. Marlowe constructs this play through the characterization of his characters, as the king searches for his identity in his relationship with Gaveston. The play itself opens with a soliloquy by Gaveston, “ 'My father is deceast ; come, Gaveston,/ And share the kingdom with thy deerest friend’” (Edward I.I. 1-2), yet these first two lines are actually the words of the king, interplaying the relationship with the king, and the role of the courtly world. However, while Arden and its characters stray from the courtly world created in Edward II and The Spanish Tragedy, the author of Arden does not keep this consistent throughout. For example, although Arden is unconventionally not of noble birth, he does marry Alice who was “descended of a noble house” (Arden I.202). Although the play is not directly representing a concern with state issues and territories,
The playwright of Arden uses irony, as seen in the passage, “My saving husband hoards up bags of gold/ To make our children rich” (Arden I. 220-1). The irony represented in this statement is magnified as it was Alice who claims that her husband saving money for their next generation, yet she is

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