ABSTRACT

It is now a little more than a half a century since the publication of Sir Walter Greg's admirable Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama (1906), In the main outline of the relationship between Italian and English pastoralism there traced singularly few changes have been necessary, and the amount of new information supplied by subsequent investigators has not been great. Certainly 1 do not flatter myself that I shall in these few pages be able to add much factual information to Greg's scholarly survey. It is hard gleaning after such a master. Nevertheless, I believe that the time has now come when the whole matter of the dramatic pastoral may be profitably re-examined. What is offered here, then, are some detached observations and speculations looking toward such re-examination of the particular connections between the firmly established and widely cultivated Italian favola boscareccia and the English drama of the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries.