Love and Sovereignity
24 September 2011
Vladimir Stojsavljević (1950), a renowned Croatian playwright and director, wrote Three Elizabethan Tragedies at the beginning of the 1980s. The play’s main protagonists are the three great dramatists Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.
The central part of the trilogy Love and Sovereignty features Richard Burbage’s actors group’s involvement in the Earl of Essex’s rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I. Inspired by the real event, Stojsavljević focuses on the dangerous proximity of politics and art and the abuse of theatre for political goals.
After the coup d’état in which the Puritans play a double role fails, it turns out that the theatre is much more vulnerable and under threat than the state. The state has many means to maintain its mechanisms, even though its real image will be preserved in the future only through great artistic works which will outlive their times. In the play William Shakespeare transforms from a horse keeper and a promising playwright into the Queen’s most important contemporary. After all, it was the Queen and the poet who most intensively marked Elizabethan England.