The Influence of Robert Garnier on Elizabethan Drama

The Influence of Robert Garnier on Elizabethan Drama

The Influence of Robert Garnier on Elizabethan Drama

The Influence of Robert Garnier on Elizabethan Drama

Excerpt

The purpose of this study is the investigation of the causes and results of the influence of Robert Garnier, the most eminent French tragedian of the sixteenth century, on Elizabethan drama during the later years of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and the early years of her successor.

Of all the different types and branches of Elizabethan drama, the classical plays of the time have received the least thorough treatment. The following work was undertaken, not with the intention of arrogating to these classical tragedies an importance equal to that of the romantic or popular dramas of the period, but with the belief that a careful study of certain phases of those dramas which were modeled more or less directly upon classical patterns would be of value in the study of the great romantic drama of the age.

Garnier's influence on the group of writers associated with the Countess of Pembroke has not gone unnoticed by students of Elizabethan literature, but it has been so generally confused and identified with the purely Senecan influence in English tragedy that its most distinctive characteristics have been largely overlooked. In order to show more clearly the nature of Garnier's influence, a chapter is given to pointing out the distinctions and differences between the style, the method, and the general attitude of Garnier, and those of his own chief source of influence, the Roman tragedian, Seneca. The basis of Garnier's appeal to those English writers who accepted him as mentor and guide, and their reasons for choosing him as a model, are discussed in detail.

My hearty thanks are due to the Elizabethan Club for the generous loan of the quarto of LadyCarew Mariam; to Mr. Andrew Keogh, Mr. Henry R. Gruener, and others of the staff of the Yale Library, and to Mr. George Parker Winship . . .

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