Virgin or Wife? St Dorothy's Legend on the Late Restoration Stage

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MIKYŠKOVÁ Anna

Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj American and British Studies Annual
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

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Klíčová slova Early modern and Restoration drama; adaptation; theatre; Benjamin Griffin; Philip Massinger; Thomas Dekker; St Dorothy; martyr; comedy of manners; dramatic decorum; rhetorical convention
Popis Although the early modern and the Restoration periods in England mark two distinct theatrical traditions, theproduction of English Restoration playwrights was to a great extent characterized by a conscious reliance on the legacy of their early modern precursors, which resulted in the high number of adaptations of old plays written and staged well into the 18th century. The canons of the two dramatic traditions are, thus, intertwined, and their parallel study provides valuable insight into the then dramatic conventions and the development of English drama in general. The present paper analyses the late Restoration adaptation Injured Virtue, or The Virgin Martyr (1714) by Benjamin Griffin and compares it with its early modern source, the tragedy The Virgin Martyr (1620) by Philip Massinger and Thomas Dekker. After addressing Griffin’s motives for choosing this particular Jacobean play, the paper discusses the most significant differences between the two texts and argues that Griffin’s alterations in the list of dramatis personae and his rhetorical transformation of the play’s main protagonists (especially that of the story’s heroine, St Dorothy) lead to the inevitable conclusion that, with the two periods in questions and their dramatic conventions being so different, not every Restoration adaptation managed to translate the early modern material successfully.
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