Heroic Drama Criticism: Later Plays: Lee And Otway - Essay

Roswell Gray Ham (essay date 1931)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Ham, Roswell Gray. “So Noble a Pleasure.” In Otway and Lee: Biography from a Baroque Age, pp. 65-81. 1931. Reprint. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969.

[In this essay, Ham considers the early plays of Thomas Otway and Nathaniel Lee, when each experimented with heroic drama before moving on to other forms.]

Pouring forth Tears at such a lavish rate,
That were the World on fire, they might have drown'd
The Wrath of Heav'n, and quench't the mighty Ruin.

Lee, Mithridates

Before the curtain had finally descended upon the destruction wrought by Otway in his Alcibiades, Mrs. Mary Lee arose from the heroic dead to recite...

(The entire section is 7432 words.)

J. M. Armistead (essay date 1979)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Armistead, J. M. “Hero as Endangered Species: Sophonisba, or Hannibal's Overthrow. A Tragedy (1675).” In Nathaniel Lee, pp. 43-57. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979.

[In the following essay, Armistead discusses the structure and themes of Nathaniel Lee's most successful foray into the genre of heroic drama, Sophonisba.]

In charting the modulation of high heroic drama into something resembling genuine tragedy, we can hardly afford to overlook Nathaniel Lee's first smash hit. That it usually is passed over suggests that most commentators have uncritically accepted impressionistic or satiric responses to the play—responses like those of the Earl of...

(The entire section is 6530 words.)

Philip K. Jason (essay date summer 1987)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Jason, Philip K. “The Distinction of Otway and Betterton.” Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research 2, no. 1 (summer 1987): 6-18.

[In this essay, Jason proposes that the working relationship between Thomas Otway and the actor Thomas Betterton influenced the writing of Otway's successful Don Carlos.]

Human destinies are often imagined as the conjunction of the traits of individuals with circumstance: men and moments. We understand the works of our intellectuals and artists to be both willed and inevitable, inspired and shaped by conditions. Often we find an even more complex amalgam of forces in which human destinies are intertwined and...

(The entire section is 4853 words.)