Sir Edmund Tylney was the Master of Revelry back then. After watching Shakespeare in Love, I realize that Tylney’s actual role was similar to a police of theater, much resembling today’s censorship. Tylney’s job was to censor the play before letting the public see it, because the content of a play could be seditious since a good play usually captures audience’s feeling, making the audience empathize the characters in the play. For example, if a play is about rebellion, it may give the general public incentive to take over the regime; certainly the government would not want that. This kind of censorship still exists today and is very prevalent in countries like China. Tylney was the man who examined the plays and had the authority to license the plays; if he did not approve a play, then that play cannot be shown. Tylney in the movie has a good relationship with Shakespeare, Burbage, and John Webster, who grew up becoming a famous dramatist. Despite Tylney’s good relationship with Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s plays still had to be licensed by him in order to be shown to the public.
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