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This study considers how John Lyly's characters who are allegorical representations of Elizabeth validate the queen, but at the same time raise troubling issues as to her true nature. Theodora Jankowski looks at both the light and the dark side of the Elizabeth character in each of Lyly's court plays, while at the same time considering how that allegory works in terms of the various issues Lyly debates within the plays. She reveals the fraught nature of John Lyly's relationship to Queen Elizabeth. He was not the first creative artist to introduce subversive undercurrents in entertainments designed to flatter the queen. However, Jankowski demonstrates how Lyly, while praising the queen and accepting her beneficence, simultaneously manages to present his audiences with the "dark queen," the opposite side of the positive image of the Queen of England.
Medieval Institute Publications
John Lyly, Elizabeth I, rulership, sexuality, friendship, economics
Literature in English, British Isles
Citation for Published Book
Jankowski, Theodora A. Elizabeth I, the Subversion of Flattery, and John Lyly's Court Plays and Entertainments. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2018.