Date of Award

Summer 1969

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




In tho Courts of the Tudors and the Stuarts flourished a form of entertainment known as the masque . This exclusive pastime was characterized by gorgeous costumes, ingenious sets, imaginative scenery, music, dialogue, and dancing. Dancing was the most important element. It is said that "from the beginning to the end of its history, the essence of the masque was the arrival of certain persons visored and disguised to dance a dance or present an offering," often in the form of a compliment to the monarch. Dancing established a close intimacy between the masquers -- the disguised performers in the masque -- and the audience. It offered the latter a degree of participation in the entertainment. The masque was a diversion in which members of the Court took part, and often the monarch was the chief masquer.