Jacqueline Wylde
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Singing in the counter
Goodnight ballads in Eastward Ho
in Forms of faith
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This chapter examines how the conventions of the goodnight ballad contribute to or even constitute both how and what the songs communicate. In Eastward Ho, an understanding of the public use and persuasive power of the goodnight ballads clarifies the satirical and coercive intent of the final song. The reading does not dwell on the sincerity and agenda of a single character. Such a reading finds the play satirical about drama yet serious about grace, providing a commentary on how style, form, and convention can simultaneously and uneasily both facilitate and subsume sincerity and honesty. Goodnight ballads fit well into Bruce Smith's balladic assessment as they are psychological, social, and emotional as well as both political and religious. They create communities though participation and inclusion as well as through delineation and exclusion. While every goodnight ballad deviates somewhat from the conventions, most follow a highly recognizable script.

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Forms of faith

Literary form and religious conflict in early modern England


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