History[ edit ] The date of authorship of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay cannot be fixed with certainty on the basis of the available evidence; the play is normally dated to the —92 period. James", fixes St. James the Great as a Friday, which was true in Yet since none of the plays in question can be dated with absolute certainty, the nature of the relationships among them are open to question and cannot resolve the pertinent dating issues.
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One would hardly guess that in real life, Greene was only six years older than Shakespeare. Edward will later become King Edward I. Leaving his friend Lacy to woo Margaret in his absence, Edward goes to Oxford to ask Friar Bacon, a noted philosopher and magician, to help him.
Bacon uses his magic to prevent the wedding from going ahead, before facing off against Vandermast, a German necromancer travelling in the retinue of the Emperor of Germany, who has accompanied King Henry to Oxford.
Edward, who had initially intended to kill his treacherous friend, encourages a match between Lacy and Margaret, while allowing himself to be betrothed to Eleanor of Castile. The play also introduced me to a charming piece of false etymology. Tellingly, the play may have been written in , the year after the Spanish Armada.
The name actually derives from brazen-huis, because the college was founded on the site of an old brewhouse. Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, with its clown figures, romantic plot, and stock figures, is a classic example of the Elizabethan comedy and worth reading for the liminal position in English literary history which it occupies. It shows English comedy developing for the new Elizabethan stage, with its spectacle, disguises, mix-ups, and romantic plot.
A Study in Greene: Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay