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Fall of Troy, Elizabethan drama, audience


The English Reformation, along with urbanization, commercial development, and other major social and cultural changes, both reflect and affect a multifaceted contestation of authority among genres and modes of discourse in the sixteenth century. Robert Weimann finds the Elizabethan period marked by clashes “between diverse authorities engaging in rivalry for the more persuasive image, logic, truth, and form of saying things,” as “the claims on God-given legitimacy of secular and ecclesiastical institutions...were irretrievably undermined.” Rather than accept the authority of a document, according to its type and status, before it was actually read, audiences tended to approach representations as sites “on which authority could be negotiated, disputed, or reconstituted.”