First performed at the Inner Temple in 1562, Gorboduc has usually been viewed as a topical comment on the Elizabethan succession. Drawing on an array of documents concerning the occasion, production, and reception of the play, I argue that this view is too narrow. Gorboduc responds to a specific occasion, the Inner Temple revels of 1561-2. Members of the inn also used the occasion to offer a challenging political comment on the nature of the English political nation, broadly defined as those individuals and institutions that could legitimately contribute to discussions of matters of state.

Author Biography

Jessica Winston is an Assistant Professor of English at Idaho State University, where she is completing a book on the literary and political culture of the early Elizabethan inns of court. Her work on the Mirror for Magistrates has recently appeared in Studies in Philology.