Thomas Otway

Thomas Otway, 1652–85, English dramatist, educated at Winchester and at Oxford. After failing as an actor, Otway wrote his first play, Alcibiades, produced in 1675. Later plays include the rhymed heroic tragedy Don Carlos (1672); an adaptation of Racine, called Titus and Berenice, (1676); and an adaptation of Molière, called The Cheats of Scapin. (1676). His two greatest plays are the blank-verse tragedies The Orphan (1680) and Venice Preserved (1682). Otway brought a sentimental pathos and romantic beauty to the formal manner of the Restoration heroic tragedy. He died in poverty at age 33.

See biography by R. G. Ham (1931, repr. 1969); studies by H. M. B. Pollard (1974) and D. P. Warner (1982).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Thomas Otway: Selected full-text books and articles

The Complete Works of Thomas Otway By Thomas Otway; Montague Summers The Nonesuch press, vol.1, 1926
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Alcibiades," "Don Carlos," "Titus and Berenice," and "The Cheats of Scapin"
Friendship in Fashion; The History and Fall of Caius Marius; The Orphan; The Souldiers Fortune By Thomas Otway; Montague Summers Nonesuch Press, vol.2, 1926
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Friendship in Fashion," "The History and Fall of Caius Marius," "The Orphan," and "The Souldiers Fortune"
Venice Preserved By Thomas Otway; Malcolm Kelsall University of Nebraska Press, 1969
Drama as Rhetoric/Rhetoric as Drama: An Exploration of Dramatic and Rhetorical Criticism By Stanley Vincent Longman; Steven Hart University of Alabama Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "And Now for Application: Venice Preserv'd and the Rhetoric of Textual Application" begins on p. 64
Divided Nation, Divided Self: The Language of Capitalism and Madness in Otway's Venice Preserv'd By Leissner, Debra Studies in the Literary Imagination, Vol. 32, No. 2, Fall 1999
Shakespeare Improved: The Restoration Versions in Quarto and on the Stage By Hazelton Spencer Harvard University Press, 1927
Librarian’s tip: "Otway's The History and Fall of Caius Marius" begins on p. 292
Critics, Values, and Restoration Comedy By John T. Harwood Southern Illinois University Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Thomas Otway begins on p. 116
The Designs of Carolean Comedy By Eric Rothstein; Frances M. Kavenik Southern Illinois University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: "Shadwell and Otway, 1678-85" begins on p. 229
The Neglected Muse: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Tragedy in the Novel (1740-1780) By Robert Gale Noyes Brown University Press, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "Thomas Otway" begins on p. 48
FREE! English Drama of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1642-1780) By George Henry Nettleton Macmillan, 1914
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "Dryden, Lee, and Otway"
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