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Princes, Soldiers and Rogues

The Politic Malcontent of Renaissance Drama


James Keller

The malcontent figure was a commonplace character type on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage. However, scholars have consistently confused this dramatic stereotype with the seemingly ubiquitous melancholiac. This study seeks to extricate the malcontent from the ever-burgeoning mass of details associated with Elizabethan melancholia and identifies political discontent as the definitive characteristic of the type. In addition, this book examines the historical circumstances that generated the malcontent and strives to illuminate the reciprocal relationship between drama and society.
Contents: The book defines the malcontent in terms of his political activities and then creates a tripartite classification of malcontent types: the prince, the soldier, and the rogue. The book also contains historical background information addressing the political, sociological, and economic conditions that generated this character.