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Staging the RevolutionDrama, reinvention and history, 1647-72$
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Rachel Willie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087639

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087639.001.0001

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Heroic drama on the commonwealth and Restoration stage

Heroic drama on the commonwealth and Restoration stage

(p.117) 4 Heroic drama on the commonwealth and Restoration stage
Staging the Revolution

Rachel Willie

Manchester University Press

Chapter four demonstrates how Davenant’s first protectorate entertainment, The Siege of Rhodes (1656 and 1663), was revised at the Restoration as a heroic drama to make it suitable for the changing times. In chapter four, I turn to examine how the text was made fit for a Restoration audience. The chapter also addresses John Dryden’s epic ten-act The Conquest of Granada (1670 and 1671) to show how early Restoration heroic dramas appropriated and reworked ideas of kingship that had circulated over the previous twenty years. By relocating war and usurpation to another land, these plays endeavour to create a neutral territory through which to question notions of sovereignty. Yet the brief fashion for heroic drama was not without its critics: a response to The Conquest of Granada, but also to the brief fashion for heroic drama, the Duke of Buckingham’s burlesque of the heroic genre, The Rehearsal (1672), brings questions of governance back to England through figuring the trials and tribulations of the two kings of Brentford.

Keywords:   William Davenant, John Dryden, Heroic drama, The Siege of Rhodes, The Conquest of Granada, Kingship

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