By Susan J. Owen
This 'Companion' illustrates the power and variety of dramatic paintings 1660 to 1710. Twenty-five essays through best students within the box compile the easiest contemporary insights into the entire variety of dramatic perform and innovation on the time.
• Introduces readers to the new growth in scholarship that has revitalised recovery drama
• Explores old and cultural contexts, genres of recovery drama, and key dramatists, between them Dryden and Behn
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Extra resources for A Companion to Restoration Drama
Mean little to the modern reader, nor do they really help us understand the drama any better. So why is late seventeenth-century English dramatic criticism important to the student of Restoration drama? First, this period marks the origin of literary criticism in England. Until well past 1700, an identifiable discipline of criticism simply did not exist: what criticism was, who should practise it and why it was worth practising were all contested questions. Part of the reason these critics seem to flounder so much is because they are searching for a critical voice.
Even in the dedicatory epistle to his last play, Love Triumphant (1694), he admittedly digresses from his praise of James Cecil, fourth Earl of Salisbury, to address authorial concerns of composition and interpretation. While no other late seventeenth-century playwright matched the output or assertive tone of Dryden's prefatory pronouncements, his influence is nevertheless clearly identifiable in the critical dedications and prefaces of important writers such as Aphra Behn, Nahum Täte, Thomas Southerne and William Congreve.
The collection begins with Gildon's own translation of Andre Dacier's Preface sur les Satires D'Horace. With Miscellaneous Letters, Gildon made his first significant contribution to literary criticism. This collection includes five critical essays by Gildon on current controversies - two on Rymer's A Short View of Tragedy — addressed to prominent literary figures such as Dryden, Congreve and Dennis. In 'Some Reflections on Mr. Rymer's Short View of Tragedy, and an Attempt at a Vindication of Shakespear, in an Essay directed to John Dryden', Gildon attacks Rymer's arguments at length by employing the critic's own satiric technique, consequently producing a far more complete and deliberately devastating refutation than Dennis's The Impartial Critick.
A Companion to Restoration Drama by Susan J. Owen