“What words, what looks, what wonders?”: Language and Spectacle in the Theatre of George Peele

  • Inga-Stina Ewbank


The title of this paper contains one of the more unrecognizable quotations of the conference; but I take heart when I am asked (as I have been) whether it refers to Shakespeare’s Marina, or to T. S. Eliot’s.1 Such guesses help to confirm my feeling that there is, at times, in the theatrical art of George Peele a peculiar quality of wonder and, though that is not my main concern, that this makes him very occasionally anticipate certain Shakespearian moments. This “wonder” — Peele’s version of admiratio2 — is, I believe, produced by some notable combinations of visual and verbal effects. The quotation, then, is offered as a paradigm of the quest I propose: for it is a quest, rather than a thesis, and the most important part of the quotation is the question mark. What is the relationship between language and spectacle in the theatre of Peele?


Black Shade Final Scene Stage Direction Visual Situation Mystic Vision 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inga-Stina Ewbank

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