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From Republic to RestorationLegacies and Departures$
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Janet Clare

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089688

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089688.001.0001

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Couplets, commonplaces and the creation of history in The Famous Tragedie of King Charles I (1649) and Cromwell’s Conspiracy (1660)

Couplets, commonplaces and the creation of history in The Famous Tragedie of King Charles I (1649) and Cromwell’s Conspiracy (1660)

Chapter:
(p.69) Chapter 3 Couplets, commonplaces and the creation of history in The Famous Tragedie of King Charles I (1649) and Cromwell’s Conspiracy (1660)
Source:
From Republic to Restoration
Author(s):

Marissa Nicosia

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719089688.003.0004

This essay tracks the shift from Republic to Restoration through two play pamphlets, The Famous Tragedie (1649) and Cromwell’s Conspiracy (1660). As short plays retelling current events, these play pamphlets are like brief history plays that document the Stuart reign in an era of crisis. Moreover, these playbooks include typographically distinct couplets that encapsulate parliamentarian and royalist positions on history and governance. In particular, the royalist couplets in The Famous Tragedie mourn Charles I and gesture to future readers. These couplets are also marked as commonplaces, or sententious material intended for later use in other contexts. This chapter argues that these plays use couplets and commonplaces to create a royalist political history of the mid-seventeenth century.

Keywords:   Charles I, commonplaces, couplets, play pamphlets, Republic, Restoration, royalist political history

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