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English Drama 1660–1700$
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Derek Hughes

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198119746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119746.001.0001

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‘Not one mark of former Majesty’: Tragedy, 1676–1682  

‘Not one mark of former Majesty’: Tragedy, 1676–1682  

(p.240) Chapter Seven ‘Not one mark of former Majesty’: Tragedy, 1676–1682 
English Drama 1660–1700

Derek Hughes

Oxford University Press

By 1676, the festive comedy of the early Restoration had given way to darker treatments of human desire. In serious drama, the heroic idealism of Earl of Orrery — the object of such festive plays as The Comical Revenge — had all but disappeared, though John Dryden, Thomas Otway, and Nathaniel Lee had continued to use the old genres and subjects to criticize the ideals formerly associated with them. However, by the end of 1676, all three had abandoned the heroic play, though minor writers protracted the genre into 1678, chiefly in the form of Siege, Conquest, and Destruction plays. One late exercise in the heroic mode that did not follow the Conquest pattern was Charles Davenant's rhymed opera Circe, the last operatic spectacular until Dryden's Albion and Albanius.

Keywords:   John Dryden, Thomas Otway, Nathaniel Lee, Siege, Conquest, Destruction, heroic play, Charles Davenant, opera

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