Medieval Period : The Middle Ages

1964 WordsFeb 17, 20178 Pages
The period of time from approximately 500 AD - 1600 AD is commonly know as the Middle Ages. It is also known synonymously as the Dark Ages; a time devoid of any art, literature, theatre, or innovations. A Medieval scholar will be quick to dispute these claims for when one begins to study this time period it becomes hard to deny the plethora of artistic development over the thousand year period. Theatre scholars and practitioners are not immune to this common misconception. In the long history of theatrics the timeline often goes from Roman theatre straight to Elizabethan with the exception of Morality Plays being the only genre of note in between. This then leads to misconception that the only plays of the Medieval Period are Morality…show more content…
King Henry VIII came to power on April, 22 1509. This means that The Interlude of Youth was written very early into King Henry VIII’s reign and the young king would have just entered his twenties. Therefore it is not difficult to come the conclusion that the brash young Prince Youth is a representation of King Henry VIII. An easy proof of this in the text can be found in Youth’s first speech when he declares that his ‘legs be full light for to run,/ To hop dance, and make merry.’ These lines are strongly reminiscent of ‘The arrogance and vanity of the young Henry experienced by visitors to the English court such as Pietro Pasqualigo, the Venetian diplomat to whom the King showed off his muscular leg in 1515.’ During the course of the play Youth is allured in to friendship with Riot, Pride and Lechery who are embodiments of the traits their very names suggest. All the while Charity and Humility try the length of the play to keep Youth away from Riot, Pride and Lechery in order to ensure that he will be a ruler with virtue and without vice. The plot of The Interludes of Youth may seem inconsequential to a modern audience, but knowing that Youth is Henry VIII and that this play was specifically commissioned by Henry Algernon Percy the fifth earl of
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