George Second Duke of Buckingham Villiers Criticism - Essay

Arthur Colby Sprague (essay date 1926)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Sprague, Arthur Colby. “The Alterations and Adaptations.” In Beaumont and Fletcher on the Restoration Stage, pp. 129-262. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1926.

[In the following excerpt, Sprague discusses two plays adapted by Buckingham: The Chances, originally by Fletcher, and The Restauration from Philaster, or Love Lies a Bleeding, by Beaumont and Fletcher.]


In The Miscellaneous Works of His Grace George, Late Duke of Buckingham, printed nearly twenty years after his death, appeared two excellent pieces entitled respectively, A Prologue to Philaster...

(The entire section is 5324 words.)

Emmett L. Avery (essay date December 1939)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Avery, Emmett L. “The Stage Popularity of The Rehearsal, 1671-1777.” Research Studies 7, no. 4 (December 1939): 201-04.

[In this essay, Avery lists performances of Buckingham's most famous play, contending that it was far more popular in the century after its debut than was originally believed.]

In his study of The Rehearsal and allied types of drama,1 Mr. D. F. Smith has given in Appendix D a list of revivals in the eighteenth century of several plays which are discussed in the earlier chapters. Among these is The Rehearsal, Buckingham's play, which is treated at considerable length in Chapter II. In his demonstration of the...

(The entire section is 1331 words.)

Dane Farnsworth Smith (essay date 1953)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Smith, Dane Farnsworth. “Sir William D'Avenant and the Duke of Buckingham.” In The Critics in the Audience of the London Theatres from Buckingham to Sheridan: A Study of Neoclassicism in the Playhouse 1671-1779, pp. 17-25. Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 1953.

[In the essay below, Smith discusses Buckingham's role as a theater critic and his inclusion of the critic characters Smith and Johnson in The Rehearsal.]


Perhaps the first reference to the critic in the drama of the Restoration, like so many other firsts in the history of English drama, is found in the work of Sir William...

(The entire section is 3199 words.)

Peter Lewis (essay date 1970)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Lewis, Peter. “‘The Rehearsal’: A Study of Its Satirical Methods.” In Die Englische Satire, edited by Wolfgang Weiss, pp. 284-314. Darmstadt, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1982.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1970, Lewis explores the methods used by Buckingham in satirizing Dryden, D'Avenant, and others in The Rehearsal.]

The Rehearsal is the archetype of most later Restoration and Augustan dramatic burlesques. A few pre-Commonwealth plays such as The Knight of the Burning Pestle might be regarded as burlesques, and, to judge from Jonson's satirical portraits of his contemporaries in Every Man out of his...

(The entire section is 10116 words.)

Sheridan Baker (essay date spring 1973)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Baker, Sheridan. “Buckingham's Permanent Rehearsal.Michigan Quarterly Review 12, no. 2 (spring 1973): 160-71.

[In the essay that follows, Baker contends that The Rehearsal still speaks to modern audiences three centuries after its composition.]

The Rehearsal (1671), the Duke of Buckingham's satire on the heroic play and its chief perpetrator, John Dryden, was a howling success when it appeared at the Theatre Royal in London before an audience that reflected the sophistication of Charles II's court. Everyone knew everything about everyone, and even the slyest hint was not lost. But timely and personal as it was, it nevertheless...

(The entire section is 4722 words.)

Robert F. Willson, Jr. (essay date 1975)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Willson, Robert F., Jr. “Bayes Versus the Critics: The Rehearsal and False Wit.” In ‘Their Form Confounded’: Studies in the Burlesque Play from Udall to Sheridan, pp. 81-110. The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton, 1975.

[In this excerpt, Willson discusses the historical context of Buckingham's play.]


In evaluating Buckingham's inspired farce, we again must turn to historical context, as in the case of The Knight, Dream, and Roister Doister. The Restoration brought with it a revived interest in the theatre and the arts in general. Escaping from Puritan repression and feeling the influence of Louis XIV's worldly...

(The entire section is 13142 words.)

Richard Elias (essay date March 1978)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Elias, Richard. “‘Bayes’ in Buckingham's The Rehearsal.English Language Notes 15, no. 3 (March 1978): 178-81.

[In the following essay, Elias discusses similarities between Buckingham's characterization of the playwright Mr. Bayes and John Dryden.]

Through the figure of Mr. Bayes, the obnoxious playwright in The Rehearsal (first acted December 1671), Buckingham and his collaborators extended their satiric attack on heroic drama to include the personal characteristics of the poets who wrote it. Since Dryden was foremost among the new dramatists of the Restoration, he took most of the drubbing, and despite his denials, the name “Bayes”...

(The entire section is 1272 words.)

G. Jack Gravitt (essay date winter 1982)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Gravitt, G. Jack. “The Modernity of The Rehearsal: Buckingham's Theatre of the Absurd.” College Literature 9, no. 1 (winter 1982): 30-8.

[In the following essay, Gravitt suggests that The Rehearsal still appeals to modern readers because of its similarity to twentieth-century Theatre of the Absurd.]

It is hardly a matter for dispute that George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham, and his collaborators used The Rehearsal to satirize the great heroic dramatist John Dryden, and the genre of heroic drama itself.1 In recent demonstrations of the play's satiric intent and devices, Peter Lewis tells us, “The Rehearsal is...

(The entire section is 4449 words.)

John H. O'Neill (essay date 1984)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: O'Neill, John H. “Buckingham's Nondramatic Poetry and Prose,” and “Buckingham's Minor Dramatic Works.” In George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham, pp. 21-51; 52-80. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1984.

[In the first essay below, O'Neill comments on Buckingham's verse elegies, satires, and epigrams, and on his prose works, including political tracts and speeches in Parliament. In the second, O'Neill discusses Buckingham's minor plays, including The Chances, The Country Gentlemen, and The Restauration.]


The duke of Buckingham was influenced by, and was a part of, a tradition of...

(The entire section is 24603 words.)

John H. O'Neill (essay date August 1985)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: O'Neill, John H. “Edward Hyde, Heneage Finch, and the Duke of Buckingham's Commonplace Book.” Modern Philology 83, no. 1 (August 1985): 51-54.

[In the following essay, O'Neill discusses the possible targets of a satirical poem found in Buckingham's commonplace book.]

The commonplace book of George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham, contains a fragment of a blank-verse tragedy and a large number of poems, none of which was published in his lifetime.1 The book was found in the duke's pocket at the time of his death; he died of a chill contracted while hunting on horseback near Castle Helmsley, his estate in Yorkshire, in April 1687. As is...

(The entire section is 2157 words.)

Margarita Stocker (essay date winter 1988)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Stocker, Margarita. “Political Allusion in The Rehearsal.Philological Quarterly 67, no. 1 (winter 1988): 11-35.

[In the following essay, Stocker contends that The Rehearsal is both political and literary satire, not one or the other as many critics claim.]

The Duke of Buckingham's Rehearsal1 (1671) has usually been regarded as a purely theatrical burlesque, of which the central butt is Dryden, in the character of Bayes. Its extensive allusions to heroic drama, in both Bayes' “mock-play” and the “commentary” dialogues surrounding it, evince “shrewd insights into the condition of Restoration drama.”2...

(The entire section is 9012 words.)

Kristiaan P. Aercke (essay date June 1988)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Aercke, Kristiaan P. “An Orange Stuff'd with Cloves: Bayesian Baroque Rehearsed.” English Language Notes 25, no. 4 (June 1988): 33-45.

[In the following essay, Aercke maintains that Bayes, the playwright in The Rehearsal, is a Baroque artist, not a modernist as has been claimed by some critics.]

Buckingham's playwright Bayes summarizes a scene of his own unnamed play in The Rehearsal (1671) as “an orange stuff'd with cloves” (III.i.24-5).1 A more Baroque image can hardly be found. Oranges are of course associated with the theater of the seventeenth century through the “orange wenches,” but more relevant still is the...

(The entire section is 4914 words.)