Welcome our White Knight with loud peals of joy

Mar 3, 2012, 9:24 AM |

England and Spain at war: 1649

This is 'A Game at Chess' - theatre play - based on the history. Follow the link in this entry to read more. I can imagine how lively and 'real' any history teacher could make it for children when teaching this topic!

The Black Knight

The Black Knight

The Black Knight is clearly at the center of A Game at Chess. In calling it "the play of Gondomar," contemporaries readily identified the impersonation of the Spanish ambassador to England as the source of the audience's enjoyment in the play. To understand some of this enjoyment, however, we need to remember that Middleton was not trying to impersonate the real person of Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, Conde [Count] de Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador to England from 1613 to 1622, but rather to offer the audience the Gondomar of the anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish imagination. The Gondomar on stage was a well-known Machiavel, a stock figure type of the conniving, self-serving man: the man that Protestant audiences loved to hate. The Black Knight is represented as a worthy opponent, one who is encumbered finally with his bumbling, excessively lascivious crew of co-conspirators. When he is bagged at the end of the play, the White Knight readily recognizes his worth in calling him "the mightiest Machiavel-politician".

The White King

While the White King might represent King James I in one sense, it is unlikely that Middleton was aiming to depict the king. After all, it was dangerous to represent living monarchs on stage. Nevertheless, Middleton's fictional king does have considerable depth and subtlety, and as a literary character he must have invited playgoers to contemplate the dangers and hardships involved in managing complex state affairs.

The White Duke

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was a highly controversial figure in the courts of King James I and his son, Charles I. He was represented in the sensational production of A Game at Chess as the White Duke.

The White Knight

A Game at Chess capitalizes on the increasing hostility toward Spain, and it casts the White Knight as the true hero of England. But it is equally easy to see the White Knight—the allegorical representation of Prince Charles—as a fool; and the view depends on one's own political position and insight.

See  this link for more... http://www.folger.edu/html/folger_institute/cultural_stress/theatre_provocations_1.html