The Audiences of Francis Beaumont’s THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE

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John Drakakis


This essay sets out to examine critically Beaumont’s representation of different audiences in his play The Knight of the Burning Pestle. The dominant critical tradition has it that the play is even-handed in its criticism  of audiences, but the argument here is that different audience tastes are pitted against each other. The dominant motif is that treated seriously in, for example, Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and it is this tradition and its various deployments by different social groups that is placed under scrutiny in the play. As a result it is an established dramatic form that is placed under scrutiny as different audiences seek to appropriate it for their own purposes.

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How to Cite
Drakakis, J. “The Audiences of Francis Beaumont’s THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE”. Linguaculture, vol. 14, no. 1, June 2023, pp. 34-48, doi:10.47743/lincu-2023-1-0329.
Author Biography

John Drakakis, University of Stirling

John Drakakis is emeritus professor of English at the University of Stirling. He has published widely in the area of Shakespeare Studies, and his most recent monograph is Shakespeare's Resources (MUP 2021) His book on Tragedy will be published in August by Routledge. He has edited The Merchant of Venice for the Arden 3 series, and he has edited and introduced Alternative Shakespeares (1985) and Shakespearean Tragedy (1994). He has jointly edited the volume on Tragedy for the Longman Critical Reader series. He has contributed articles and reviews to journals such as Shakespeare Survey, Shakespeare Quarterly and Shakespeare Studies, and he is a member of a number of journal editorial boards. He is also the general editor of the Routledge New Critical Idiom series.


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