Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England

"'Hear for your love, and buy for your money': Ballads and Theater as Experiential Commodities"

Busy’s response that it is instead licensed by the “Master of Rebels” points to the transgressive nature of the production. Busy is finally defeated when the puppet undermines his claims that the theater is profane because of the practice of cross-dressing. The puppet responds that Busy is using the wrong argument to attack this particular form of art: “it is your old stale argument against the players, but / it will not hold against the puppets” (5.5.96-7). To make his point the puppet flashes Busy, lifting up his skirt to reveal his absent genitals. Busy responds that he is “confuted” and converts to join the revelry.

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