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War, Liberty, and CaesarResponses to Lucan's Bellum Ciuile, ca. 1580 - 1650$
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Edward Paleit

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602988

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602988.001.0001

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Speaking to Pothinus: Lucan and ‘Commonwealth’ Drama, from The Misfortunes of Arthur to The Tragedy of Nero

Speaking to Pothinus: Lucan and ‘Commonwealth’ Drama, from The Misfortunes of Arthur to The Tragedy of Nero

Chapter:
(p.128) 4 Speaking to Pothinus: Lucan and ‘Commonwealth’ Drama, from The Misfortunes of Arthur to The Tragedy of Nero
Source:
War, Liberty, and Caesar
Author(s):

Edward Paleit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602988.003.0005

In contrast to the previous chapter, Chapter 4 examines Lucan’s use chiefly in English political drama, ranging from The Misfortunes of Arthur (1588), an entertainment devised by lawyers for Elizabeth I, to The Tragedy of Nero (1624). It begins with a discussion of Ben Jonson’s complex use and appraisal of Lucan in his Roman tragedies and ends with the way he draws on Lucan The Masque of Queens (1609); Philip Massinger and John Fletcher’s The False One (ca. 1620) also receives extended discussion. The chapter argues that Lucan’s often stark moral and political oppositions were appropriated by dramatists concerned with governance, and especially with the pernicious effects of royal favouritism, court corruption, and the doctrines of legal absolutism and reason of state.

Keywords:   Commonwealth, constitution, renaissance legalism, philip Massinger, John Fletcher, Ben Jonson, Catiline his Conspiracy, Sejanus, The Misfortunes of Arthur, The Tragedy of Nero, The False one, renaissance tragedy, stuart classical play, court corruption, reason of state, royal favouritism

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