Four Restoration Marriage Plays

Four Restoration Marriage Plays

Four Restoration Marriage Plays

Four Restoration Marriage Plays

Synopsis

Marriage and its discontents lie at the heart of Restoration comedy. In all four of the great plays gathered here, a married woman confronts her would-be seducer. Each dramatist, however, totally reinterprets the situation. Thomas Otway's The Soldier's Fortune converts adultery into political revenge. Nathaniel Lee's The Princess of Cleves offers a potent and perplexing portrait of a libertine in action at the sixteenth-century French court. John Dryden's Amphitryon, set in ancient Thebes, retells the story in which Jupiter lures the virtuous Alcmena into cuckolding her husband by a stratagem that throws into doubt the very nature of human identity. Thomas Southerne's The Wives' Excuse reinvents, for the new circumstances of the 1690s, the familiar Restoration plot of a wife spurred towards infidelity by her partner's failings. All of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation.

Excerpt

The division of editorial responsibilities in this volume has been as follows. Michael Cordner edited and modernized the four play-texts and provided all the introductory materials. Michael Cordner and Ronald Clayton collaborated on the annotation and on checking the texts. Ronald Clayton compiled the glossary.

Michael Cordner Ronald Clayton . . .

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