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Tyranny and UsurpationThe New Prince and Lawmaking Violence in Early Modern Drama$
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Doyeeta Majumder

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941688

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941688.001.0001

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The kingly vice

The kingly vice

The tyrant in early Tudor drama

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter One The kingly vice
Source:
Tyranny and Usurpation
Author(s):

Doyeeta Majumder

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941688.003.0002

Through a discussion of three early Tudor morality plays which foreground the figure of the tyrant, this chapter argues that, though early sixteenth-century English drama engages deeply with issues of tyranny and misuse of sovereign power, these plays are not concerned with the issue of usurpation. The nature or origins of sovereignty itself are not scrutinized in these plays. The ‘good king-bad tyrant’ conflict that is the central agon of later plays which pit the legitimate monarch against the usurper, is effaced as the good king himself transforms into the bad tyrant.

Keywords:   Tyrant, Tudor, Political morality, Resistance against tyranny

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