Acts of oblivion
Reframing drama, 1649– 65
in From Republic to Restoration
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This chapter challenges conventional and critically resilient scholarly periodization of theatre in which 1660 is seen as inaugurating innovative theatre practice. It demonstrates that the reframing of the drama by William Davenant and Richard Flecknoe during the 1650s left a legacy to the Restoration, a legacy that in texts of the 1660s Davenant and Flecknoe attempted to obviate. Theatre historians have been subsequently reluctant to acknowledge continuities in dramatic practice and theatre production. This chapter argues that the influence of the drama of the 1650s was wide-ranging. Reformed aesthetics, the scenic stage, the female performer, political satire and the representation of love and honour in new world contexts, all aspects of the production of Commonwealth drama, are variously reconstituted in plays of the Restoration stage.

From Republic to Restoration

Legacies and departures

Editor: Janet Clare


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