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  The masque was a form of European court entertainment particularly popular around the end of the 16th century in France, England and Italy, which combined the performance of a dramatic text (usually on an allegorical or mythological theme) with music, song, dance and spectacular scenery and effects. The masque played an important role in the development of music theatre, the proscenium arch and theatrical machinery. Ben Jonson, whose dispute with Inigo Jones over the relative value of words and spectacle in the masques is a classic example of the drama/theatre dichotomy, developed the antimasque in which grotesque characters and humour parody the order of the masque. TRG SS

Further reading David Lindley (ed.), The Court Masque; , Stephen Orgel, The Jonsonian Masque.



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