Poor, Cankered Hearts: A Dramatic Exploration Of The Elizabethan World View
This play is the result of my meditations on the conflicting forces that shape society. Like our age, the Elizabethan Period was caught in the winds of profound change: the Medieval Age was dying, while the Modern Age was yet powerless to be born. In the face of these conflicting viewpoints, the Elizabethans did the best they could to synthesize and integrate these several world views. This synthesis, called the Elizabethan World View, is a way of looking at the world. The Elizabethans used it. Shakespeare used it. It is not necessary in ay viewpoint that this particular world view with all of its mythological trappings and out-dated notions be adopted. It is ay concern that people should adopt some world view, if only to keep their sanity in this world of shifting values. Though this particular world view is outdated, I adopted it because it stresses values and has enough variety to still appeal to an audience. My aim is to show that we might bring ourselves some peace in this age through adopting a world view. A drama requires more than a world view, however. A drama requires conflict. I am indebted to Dr. Eric C. Hansen of the Carroll College History Department for the suggestion that I might east my drama around the conflicts surrounding the suppression of the English Monasteries by Henry VIII, circa 1535. This subject, so well documented by the late David Knowles in his authoritative work Bare Ruined Choirs certainly merits dramatic attention. It is not necessary that a play written from the Elizabethan World View should be about Elizabethans. Indeed, this play is set years before the outlook was popularized. But this is also the case with Shakespeare*s Julius Caesar. It is also beside the point that this drama should be written in the dialect of the day. The reader will see that this play is written in modern English. If the reader will suspend dis-belief, I think he will perceive the ideas and feel the exact emotions I wish to convey by this means.