Caponsacchi: A Play in Three Acts, Prologue and Epilogue, Based upon Robert Browning's Poem, "The Ring and the Book", by Arthur Goodrich and Rose A. Palmer

Caponsacchi: A Play in Three Acts, Prologue and Epilogue, Based upon Robert Browning's Poem, "The Ring and the Book", by Arthur Goodrich and Rose A. Palmer

Caponsacchi: A Play in Three Acts, Prologue and Epilogue, Based upon Robert Browning's Poem, "The Ring and the Book", by Arthur Goodrich and Rose A. Palmer

Caponsacchi: A Play in Three Acts, Prologue and Epilogue, Based upon Robert Browning's Poem, "The Ring and the Book", by Arthur Goodrich and Rose A. Palmer

Excerpt

Tennyson did not write for the stage until he was past sixty; but Browning wrote most of his plays early in life. "Paracelsus" was a poem and not a drama. As has often been said, it represented not character in action, but action in character. He knew perfectly well what he was about, for in the original preface (1835), afterwards suppressed, he wrote: "I have endeavoured to write a poem, not a drama; the canons of the drama are well known, and I cannot but think that, inasmuch as they have immediate regard to stage presentation, the peculiar advantages they hold out are really such only so long as the purpose for which they were at first instituted can be kept in view." The great actor, Macready, read "Paracelsus" with the tears running down his cheeks, and at a dinner party given that year at which both old Wordsworth and young Browning were present, Macready leaned across the table and asked Browning, "Won't you write a play for me and save me from going to America?" Of course the young poet was immensely flattered by this request and he wrote the play "Strafford," which Macready produced, but which is very far from being a good play. Browning continued to write plays of which the most famous is, perhaps, "A Blot in the 'Scutcheon," but none of them had any great success on the stage, and . . .

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