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Download Masters and Servants in English Renaissance Drama and by Mark Thornton Burnett (auth.) PDF

By Mark Thornton Burnett (auth.)

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76 His comment profitably details the relationship between social conditions and T. 's objections, but it does not speculate about the effects which such literature could help to generate. Although popular literature sometimes targeted the master as a possible consumer, it may also have been composed for the apprentice's benefit. Material injustices induced apprentices to defend themselves by seeking redress in the courts; by 36 Masters and Servants in the English Renaissance extension, they could find more than one application in texts instructing employers to be considerate, and a partial justification for continuing to question the powers that ideally ensured their continued obedience.

The broad outline of such fictions espouses community values and affirms the inviolability of the political structure. In popular advice to apprentices, in contrast, it is implied that serving an apprenticeship will lead to material gain and public honours. Dick Whittington, the quasi-legendary apprentice who rose to be Lord Mayor of London, was celebrated in ballads from at least the sixteenth century onwards; the following construction of his story is from a 1613 version of an earlier set of verses: Brave London 'Prentices, come listen to my Song, 'Tis for your glory all, and to you doth belong; And you, poor Country Lads, though born of low degree, See by God's providence what you in time may bee.

It is hardly surprising, in the circumstances, that the intervention of the Master of the Revels precipitated the endless revisions to which Sir Thomas More was subjected. 85-7) recall an earlier stage of the crisis and reach beyond the immediate context of 1593-4 to anticipate developments characteristic of a later moment of the 1590s. In this section, I have argued that a broad range of literary representations of apprentices dwelled upon and looked forward to a late Elizabethan crisis. Conventional recommendations as to behaviour were given specific applications; social satire revealed Apprenticeship and Society 27 economic injustices; and narratives of apprentice group activity manifested a critique of and a disillusionment with municipal authority.

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