Masque

Masque

Overview

The masque was a form of festive courtly
Noble court
The court of a monarch, or at some periods an important nobleman, is a term for the extended household and all those who regularly attended on the ruler or central figure...

 entertainment which flourished in 16th and early 17th century Europe, though it was developed earlier in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, in forms including the intermedio
Intermedio
The intermedio, or intermezzo, in the Italian Renaissance, was a theatrical performance or spectacle with music and often dance which was performed between the acts of a play to celebrate special occasions in Italian courts. It was one of the important predecessors to opera, and an influence on...

 (a public version of the masque was the pageant). A masque involved music and dancing, singing and acting, within an elaborate stage design, in which the architectural framing and costumes might be designed by a renowned architect, to present a deferential allegory flattering to the patron.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Masque'
Start a new discussion about 'Masque'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia

The masque was a form of festive courtly
Noble court
The court of a monarch, or at some periods an important nobleman, is a term for the extended household and all those who regularly attended on the ruler or central figure...

 entertainment which flourished in 16th and early 17th century Europe, though it was developed earlier in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, in forms including the intermedio
Intermedio
The intermedio, or intermezzo, in the Italian Renaissance, was a theatrical performance or spectacle with music and often dance which was performed between the acts of a play to celebrate special occasions in Italian courts. It was one of the important predecessors to opera, and an influence on...

 (a public version of the masque was the pageant). A masque involved music and dancing, singing and acting, within an elaborate stage design, in which the architectural framing and costumes might be designed by a renowned architect, to present a deferential allegory flattering to the patron. Professional actors and musicians were hired for the speaking and singing parts. Often, the masquers who did not speak or sing were courtiers: King James I's queen consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

, Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark was queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland as the wife of King James VI and I.The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I...

, frequently danced with her ladies in masques between 1603 and 1611, and Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 performed in the masques at their courts. In the tradition of masque, Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 danced in ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

s at Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

 with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste de Lully was an Italian-born French composer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French Baroque style. Lully disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period. He became a French subject in...

.

Development


The masque tradition developed from the elaborate pageants and courtly shows of ducal Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 in the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Masques were typically a complimentary offering to the prince among his guests and might combine pastoral settings, mythological fable, and the dramatic elements of ethical debate. There would invariably be some political and social application of the allegory. Such pageants often celebrated a birth, marriage, change of ruler or a Royal Entry
Royal Entry
The Royal Entry, also known by various other names, including Triumphal Entry and Joyous Entry, embraced the ceremonial and festivities accompanying a formal entry by a ruler or his representative into a city in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period in Europe...

 and invariably ended with a tableau of bliss and concord. Masque imagery tended to be drawn from Classical rather than Christian sources, and the artifice was part of the Grand dance. Masque thus lent itself to Mannerist
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

 treatment in the hands of master designers like Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

 or Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

. The New Historians
New Criticism
New Criticism was a movement in literary theory that dominated American literary criticism in the middle decades of the 20th century. It emphasized close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self-contained, self-referential aesthetic...

, in works like the essays of Bevington and Holbrook's The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (1998), have pointed out the political subtext of masques. At times, the political subtext was not far to seek: The Triumph of Peace
The Triumph of Peace
The Triumph of Peace was a Caroline era masque, "invented and written" by James Shirley, performed on February 3, 1634 and published the same year. The production was designed by Inigo Jones.-Inspiration:...

, put on with a large amount of parliament-raised money by Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, caused great offence to the Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

s. Catherine de' Medici's court festivals
Catherine de' Medici's court festivals
Catherine de' Medici's court festivals were a series of lavish and spectacular entertainments, sometimes called "magnificences", laid on by Catherine de' Medici, the queen consort of France from 1547 to 1559 and queen mother from 1559 until her death in 1589...

, often even more overtly political, were among the most spectacular entertainments of her day, although the "intermezzi
Intermedio
The intermedio, or intermezzo, in the Italian Renaissance, was a theatrical performance or spectacle with music and often dance which was performed between the acts of a play to celebrate special occasions in Italian courts. It was one of the important predecessors to opera, and an influence on...

" of the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

 court in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 could rival them.

Dumbshow


In English theatre tradition, a dumbshow
Dumbshow
Dumbshow, also dumb show or dumb-show, is a traditional term for pantomime in drama, actions presented by actors onstage without spoken dialogue. It is similar to the masque...

is a masque-like interlude of silent pantomime
Pantomime
Pantomime — not to be confused with a mime artist, a theatrical performer of mime—is a musical-comedy theatrical production traditionally found in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Ireland, Gibraltar and Malta, and is mostly performed during the...

 usually with allegorical content
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 that refers to the occasion of a play or its theme, the most famous being the pantomime played out in Hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

(III.ii). Dumbshows might be a moving spectacle, like a procession, as in Thomas Kyd
Thomas Kyd
Thomas Kyd was an English dramatist, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, and one of the most important figures in the development of Elizabethan drama....

's The Spanish Tragedy
The Spanish Tragedy
The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again is an Elizabethan tragedy written by Thomas Kyd between 1582 and 1592. Highly popular and influential in its time, The Spanish Tragedy established a new genre in English theatre, the revenge play or revenge tragedy. Its plot contains several violent...

(1580s), or they might form a pictorial tableau, as one in the Shakespeare collaboration, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not included in the First Folio...

(III,i)—a tableau that is immediately explicated at some length by the poet-narrator, Gower
John Gower
John Gower was an English poet, a contemporary of William Langland and a personal friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. He is remembered primarily for three major works, the Mirroir de l'Omme, Vox Clamantis, and Confessio Amantis, three long poems written in French, Latin, and English respectively, which...

. Dumbshows were a Medieval element that continued to be popular in early Elizabethan drama, but by the time Pericles (c. 1607–08) or Hamlet (c. 1600–02) were staged, they were perhaps quaintly old-fashioned: “What means this, my lord?” is Ophelia's reaction. In English masques, purely musical interludes might be accompanied by a dumbshow.

Origins


The masque has its origins in a folk tradition where masked players would unexpectedly call on a nobleman in his hall, dancing and bringing gifts on certain nights of the year, or celebrating dynastic occasions. The rustic presentation of "Pyramus and Thisbe" as a wedding entertainment in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta...

offers a familiar example. Spectators were invited to join in the dancing. At the end, the players would take off their masks to reveal their identities.

England


In England, Tudor court
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

 masques developed from earlier guisings, where a masked allegorical figure would appear and address the assembled company—providing a theme for the occasion—with musical accompaniment; masques at Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

's court emphasized the concord and unity between Queen and Kingdom. A descriptive narrative of a processional masque is the masque of the Seven Deadly Sins
Seven deadly sins
The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin...

 in Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

's The Faerie Queene
The Faerie Queene
The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English...

(Book i, Canto IV). A particularly elaborate masque, performed over the course of two weeks for Queen Elizabeth, is described in the 1821 novel Kenilworth
Kenilworth (novel)
Kenilworth. A Romance is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, first published on 8 January 1821.-Plot introduction:Kenilworth is apparently set in 1575, and centers on the secret marriage of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, and Amy Robsart, daughter of Sir Hugh Robsart...

, by Sir Walter Scott
Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time....

. Later, in the court of James I, narrative elements of the masque became more significant. Plots were often on classical or allegorical themes, glorifying the royal or noble sponsor. At the end, the audience would join with the actors in a final dance. Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

 wrote a number of masques with stage design by Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

. Their works are usually thought of as the most significant in the form. Sir Philip Sidney
Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet, courtier and soldier, and is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan Age...

 also wrote masques.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 wrote a masque-like interlude in The Tempest, understood by modern scholars to have been heavily influenced by the masque texts of Ben Jonson and the stagecraft of Inigo Jones. There is also a masque sequence in his Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

 and Henry VIII
Henry VIII (play)
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight is a history play by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, based on the life of Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication...

. John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

's Comus
Comus (John Milton)
Comus is a masque in honour of chastity, written by John Milton. It was first presented on Michaelmas, 1634, before John Egerton, 1st Earl of Bridgewater at Ludlow Castle in celebration of the Earl's new post as Lord President of Wales.Known colloquially as Comus, the mask's actual full title is A...

(with music by Henry Lawes
Henry Lawes
Henry Lawes was an English musician and composer.He was born at Dinton in Wiltshire, and received his musical education from John Cooper, better known under his Italian pseudonym Giovanni Coperario, a famous composer of the day...

) is described as a masque, though it is generally reckoned a pastoral play
Pastoral
The adjective pastoral refers to the lifestyle of pastoralists, such as shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to seasons and the changing availability of water and pasturage. It also refers to a genre in literature, art or music that depicts such shepherd life in an...

.

Reconstructions of Stuart
House of Stuart
The House of Stuart is a European royal house. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of Great Britain and Ireland...

 masques have been few and far between. Part of the problem is that only texts survive complete; there is no complete music, only fragments, so no authoritative performance can be made without reconstruction.

The English semi-opera
Semi-opera
The terms Semi-opera, dramatic[k] opera and English opera were all applied to Restoration entertainments that combined spoken plays with masque-like episodes employing singing and dancing characters. They usually included machines in the manner of the restoration spectacular...

 which developed in the latter part of the 17th century, a form in which John Dryden
John Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...

 and Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

 collaborated, borrows some elements from the masque and further elements from the contemporary courtly French opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 of Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste de Lully was an Italian-born French composer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of the French Baroque style. Lully disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period. He became a French subject in...

.

The 18th-century masques were less frequently staged. "Rule, Britannia!
Rule, Britannia!
"Rule, Britannia!" is a British patriotic song, originating from the poem "Rule, Britannia" by James Thomson and set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740...

" started out as part of Alfred, a masque about Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 co-written by James Thomson and David Mallet which was first performed at Cliveden
Cliveden
Cliveden is an Italianate mansion and estate at Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. Set on banks above the River Thames, its grounds slope down to the river. The site has been home to an Earl, two Dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor....

, country house of Frederick, Prince of Wales
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Frederick, Prince of Wales was a member of the House of Hanover and therefore of the Hanoverian and later British Royal Family, the eldest son of George II and father of George III, as well as the great-grandfather of Queen Victoria...

. Performed to celebrate the third birthday of Frederick's daughter Augusta. It remains among the best-known British patriotic songs up to the present, while the masque of which it was originally part is only remembered by specialist historians.

Legacy


Of all the arts of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, the masque is the artistic form most alien to audiences today. The most outstanding humanists
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

, poets and artists of the day, in the full intensity of their creative powers, devoted themselves to producing masques; and until the Puritans closed the English theatres in 1642, the masque was the highest artform in England. But because of its ephemeral nature, not a lot of documentation related to masques remains, and much of what is said about the production and enjoyment of masques is still part speculation.

20th century


While no longer popular, there are some later examples of the masque. In the 20th century, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

 wrote Job, a masque for dancing
Job, a masque for dancing
Job is a one act ballet produced for the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1931. Regarded as a crucial work in the development of British ballet, Job was the first ballet to be produced by an entirely British creative team...

which premiered in 1930, although the work is closer to a ballet
Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 than a masque as it was originally understood. His designating it a masque was to indicate that the modern choreography
Choreography
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" ...

 typical when he wrote the piece would not be suitable.

Constant Lambert
Constant Lambert
Leonard Constant Lambert was a British composer and conductor.-Early life:Lambert, the son of Russian-born Australian painter George Lambert, was educated at Christ's Hospital and the Royal College of Music...

 also wrote a piece he called a masque, Summer's Last Will and Testament, for orchestra, chorus and baritone. His title he took from Thomas Nash
Thomas Nash
Thomas Nash was the first husband of William Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth Barnard. He lived most of his life in Stratford-upon-Avon, and was the dominant male figure amongst Shakespeare's senior family line after the death of Dr...

, whose masque was probably first presented before the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, perhaps at his London seat, Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. It is located in Lambeth, on the south bank of the River Thames a short distance upstream of the Palace of Westminster on the opposite shore. It was acquired by the archbishopric around 1200...

, in 1592.

List of notable masques



  • Chloridia
    Chloridia
    Chloridia: Rites to Chloris and Her Nymphs was the final masque that Ben Jonson wrote for the Stuart Court. It was performed at Shrovetide, February 22, 1631, with costumes, sets and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones.-The masque:...

  • Cupid and Death
    Cupid and Death
    Cupid and Death is a mid-seventeenth-century masque, written by the Caroline era dramatist James Shirley, and performed on 26 March 1653 before the Portuguese ambassador to Great Britain...

  • The Fairy-Queen
    The Fairy-Queen
    The Fairy-Queen is a masque or semi-opera by Henry Purcell; a "Restoration spectacular". The libretto is an anonymous adaptation of William Shakespeare's wedding comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. First performed in 1692, The Fairy-Queen was composed three years before Purcell's death at the age...

  • The Fortunate Isles and Their Union
    The Fortunate Isles and Their Union
    The Fortunate Isles and Their Union is a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones, and performed on January 9, 1625...

  • The Golden Age Restored
    The Golden Age Restored
    The Golden Age Restored was a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones; it was performed on January 1 and January 6, 1616, almost certainly at Whitehall Palace.-The show:...

  • The Gypsies Metamorphosed
    The Gypsies Metamorphosed
    The Gypsies Metamorphosed, alternatively titled The Metamorphosed Gypsies, The Gypsies' Metamorphosis, or The Masque of Gypsies, was a Jacobean era masque written by Ben Jonson, with music composed by Nicholas Lanier...

  • The Hue and Cry After Cupid
    The Hue and Cry After Cupid
    The Hue and Cry After Cupid, or A Hue and Cry After Cupid, also Lord Haddington's Masque or The Masque at Lord Haddington's Marriage, or even The Masque With the Nuptial Songs at the Lord Viscount Haddington's Marriage at Court, was a masque performed on Shrove Tuesday night, February 9, 1608, in...

  • Hymenaei
    Hymenaei
    Hymenaei, or The Masgue of Hymen, was a masque written by Ben Jonson for the marriage of Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, and Lady Frances Howard, daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, and performed on their wedding day, January 5, 1606...

  • The Lady of May
    The Lady of May
    The Lady of May is a one-act play by the English Renaissance poet Sir Philip Sidney. The play, which draws upon the literary tradition of pastoral, is notable for its allegorical content relating to Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the first production was performed at the Earl of Leicester's country...

  • Lord Hay's Masque
    Lord Hay's Masque
    Lord Hay's Masque was an early Jacobean era masque, written by Thomas Campion, with costumes, sets and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones. The masque was performed on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1607, in the Great Hall of Whitehall Palace...

  • The King's Entertainment at Welbeck
    The King's Entertainment at Welbeck
    The King's Entertainment at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire, alternatively titled Love's Welcome at Welbeck, was a masque or entertainment written by Ben Jonson, and performed on May 21, 1633 at the Welbeck estate of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle...

  • Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly
    Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly
    Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly was a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones, with music by Alfonso Ferrabosco...

  • Love Restored
    Love Restored
    Love Restored was a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson; it was performed on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1612, and first published in 1616...

  • Love's Triumph Through Callipolis
    Love's Triumph Through Callipolis
    Love's Triumph Through Callipolis was the first masque performed at the Stuart Court during the reign of King Charles I, and the first in which a reigning monarch appeared...

  • Love's Welcome at Bolsover
    Love's Welcome at Bolsover
    Love's Welcome at Bolsover is the final masque composed by Ben Jonson. It was performed on July 30, 1634, three years before the poet's death, and published in 1641....

  • Luminalia
    Luminalia
    Luminalia or The Festival of Light was a late Caroline era masque or "operatic show", with an English libretto by Sir William Davenant, designs by Inigo Jones, and music by composer Nicholas Lanier...

  • The Masque of Augurs
    The Masque of Augurs
    The Masque of Augurs was a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones. It was performed, most likely, on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1622....

  • The Masque of Beauty
    The Masque of Beauty
    The Masque of Beauty was a courtly masque composed by Ben Jonson, and performed to inaugurate the refurbished banqueting hall of Whitehall Palace on January 10, 1608. It was a sequel to the preceding Masque of Blackness, which had been performed three years earlier, on January 6, 1605...

  • The Masque of Blackness
    The Masque of Blackness
    The Masque of Blackness was an early Jacobean era masque, first performed at the Stuart Court in the Banqueting Hall of Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1605. The masque was written by Ben Jonson at the request of Anne of Denmark, the queen consort of King James I, who wished the...

  • The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn
    The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn
    The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn was a Jacobean era masque, written by Francis Beaumont. It was performed on 20 February 1613 in the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace, as part of the elaborate wedding festivities surrounding the marriage of Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of King...


  • The Masque of Queens
    The Masque of Queens
    The Masque of Queens, Celebrated From the House of Fame is one of the earlier works in the series of masques that Ben Jonson composed for the House of Stuart in the early 17th century...

  • The Memorable Masque of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn
    The Memorable Masque of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn
    The Memorable Masque of the Middle Temple and Lincoln's Inn was a Jacobean era masque, written by George Chapman, and with costumes, sets, and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones...

  • Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists
    Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists
    Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists at Court is a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones. It was performed at Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1615...

  • Neptune's Triumph for the Return of Albion
    Neptune's Triumph for the Return of Albion
    Neptune's Triumph for the Return of Albion was a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson, and designed by Inigo Jones. The masque is notable for the contradictory historical evidence connected with it and the confusion it caused among generations of scholars and critics.- Context :The masque was...

  • Oberon, the Faery Prince
    Oberon, the Faery Prince
    Oberon, the Faery Prince was a masque written by Ben Jonson, with costumes, sets and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones, and music by Alfonso Ferrabosco and Robert Johnson...

  • Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue
    Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue
    Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue is a Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and designed by Inigo Jones. It was first performed on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1618, in the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace...

  • Salmacida Spolia
    Salmacida Spolia
    Salmacida Spolia was the last masque performed at the English Court before the outbreak of the English Civil War. Written by Sir William Davenant, with costumes, sets, and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones and with music by Lewis Richard, it was performed at Whitehall Palace on January 21,...

  • The Shepherd's Paradise
    The Shepherd's Paradise
    The Shepherd's Paradise was a Caroline era masque, written by Walter Montagu and designed by Inigo Jones. Acted in 1633 by Queen Henrietta Maria and her ladies in waiting, it was noteworthy as the first masque in which the Queen and her ladies filled speaking roles...

  • The Sun's Darling
    The Sun's Darling
    The Sun's Darling is a masque, or masque-like play, written by John Ford and Thomas Dekker, and first published in 1656.The Sun's Darling was licensed for performance by Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, on March 3, 1624...

  • Tempe Restored
    Tempe Restored
    Tempe Restored was a Caroline era masque, written by Aurelian Townshend and designed by Inigo Jones, and performed at Whitehall Palace on Shrove Tuesday, February 14, 1632...

  • Time Vindicated to Himself and to His Honours
    Time Vindicated to Himself and to His Honours
    Time Vindicated to Himself and to his Honours was a late Jacobean era masque, written by Ben Jonson and with costumes, sets, and stage effects designed by Inigo Jones...

  • The Triumph of Beauty
    The Triumph of Beauty
    The Triumph of Beauty is a Caroline era masque, written by James Shirley and first published in 1646. The masque shows a strong influence of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream....

  • The Triumph of Peace
    The Triumph of Peace
    The Triumph of Peace was a Caroline era masque, "invented and written" by James Shirley, performed on February 3, 1634 and published the same year. The production was designed by Inigo Jones.-Inspiration:...

  • The Vision of Delight
    The Vision of Delight
    The Vision of Delight was a Jacobean era masque written by Ben Jonson. It was most likely performed on Twelfth Night, January 6, 1617 in the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace, and repeated on January 19 of that year....

  • The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses
    The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses
    The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses was an early Jacobean era masque, written by Samuel Daniel and performed in the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace on the evening of Sunday, January 8, 1604...

  • The World Tossed at Tennis
    The World Tossed at Tennis
    The World Tossed at Tennis is a Jacobean era masque composed by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, first published in 1620. It was likely acted on 4 March 1620 at Denmark House....

  • The Masque of the Red Death
    The Masque of the Red Death
    "The Masque of the Red Death", originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death" , is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a...



External links