Internet Shakespeare Editions


More stage designs by Inigo Jones

Stage design for a cave. By permission of the Chatsworth Settlement.

A sketch for a stage setting of a cave. On the public stage, Prospero's cave would have been a far less impressive structure than this.

Oberon, a masque written by Ben Jonson and staged by Inigo Jones, used a stage set with a similar pile of rocks; at the end of the masque the stage changes from a "glorious palace" to a "dark rock": click to see a modern reconstruction.*

Another masque, The Hue and Cry After Cupid, by Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones, contains this description of the stage setting:

"The scene to this masque was a high, steep, red cliff, advancing itself into the clouds, figuring the place from whence . . . the honourable family of Radcliffes first took their name . . . before which, on the two sides, were erected two pilasters [square, classical pillars], charged [decorated] with spoils and trophies of Love [Cupid] and his mother, consecrate to marriage, amongst which were old and young persons figured, bound with roses, the wedding garments, rocks [simple devices for spinning] and spindles, hearts transfixed with arrows, others flaming, virgin's girdles, garlands, and worlds of such like . . . and overhead two personages, Triumph and Victory, in flying postures, and twice so big as the life, in place of the arch . . ."

Listen to a stately dance...*


  1. A scene change

    [Video clip available on CD ROM only.]

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    As the masque Oberon draws to its close, lights in the palace at the back of the stage are dimmed, the stage changes to return to the "dark rock" of the beginning, and the satyrs in the antimasque reclaim the wilderness by climbing back on the rock. The other "characters" in the scene are the morning stars.

  2. Decorous dancing

    The sonorous and solemn dance available from these links is a Pavane, "Tell me Daphne," by Giles Farnaby, a composer who lived in the latter part of the sixteenth century.
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