Journal article

Crowd control in restoration tragedy

Marc Mierowsky

The Seventeenth Century | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2017


This article traces the development of heroic drama into a more affective mode of tragedy. Using contemporary reappraisals of Aristotelian catharsis as an optic for this generic development, it shows that the emotions involved in the love plots and melodramatic endings that distinguished affective tragedy from its forebears were thought to have a normative ethical content as well as a purgative effect. This view poses a challenge to the accepted wisdom that affective tragedies neutralised or avoided political controversy by divesting audiences of their judgement. With particular reference to Nahum Tate’s The Ingratitude of the Commonwealth and Thomas Otway’s Caius Marius, two plays written a..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Gates Cambridge Trust and the University of Melbourne S. Ernest Sprott Fellowship.