Jacobean Drama Jacobean Tragedy - Essay

Jacobean Tragedy

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Robert Ornstein

SOURCE: "Tragedy and the Age," in The Moral Vision of Jacobean Tragedy, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1960, pp. 1-46.

[In the following excerpt, Ornstein focuses on the problem of critical interpretation associated with the "hectic portraits of vice and depravity " that characterize Jacobean tragedies. He emphasizes the gradual transition between the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, stressing the uncertainty associated with a changing epistemology.]

We applaud the Jacobean tragedians but we do not always approve of them. Their poetry seems at times superior to their principles and their sense of the theater more highly...

(The entire section is 1155 words.)