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English Drama 1660–1700$
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Derek Hughes

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198119746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119746.001.0001

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‘To call every thing into question’: Influences on the Drama  

‘To call every thing into question’: Influences on the Drama  

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One ‘To call every thing into question’: Influences on the Drama 
Source:
English Drama 1660–1700
Author(s):

Derek Hughes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119746.003.0001

This book traces patterns of diversity that gradually shift in their composition and proportions, and a number of interlinked motifs become evident. It is noteworthy that, after 1688, contented Whigs such as Thomas Shadwell and Libber resurrect fixity of place as an important moral and social symbol, and that, partly in consequence, the stranger once more becomes a dramatically potent figure. It is equally noteworthy, however, that it was not only melancholy Jacobites such as John Dryden who continued the portrayal of human dislocation: it is a fundamental state in the plays of William Congreve and John Vanbrugh, and Congreve more than anyone else inherits the youthful Dryden's interest in the isolated consciousness. This is not a book on the diverse and changing relationship between consciousness and the exterior world in Restoration drama, but it does assume that the dramatists' creative personalities are fundamentally influenced by their interpretation of this relationship, in all its multitude of implications.

Keywords:   Whigs, plays, Thomas Shadwell, John Dryden, human dislocation, William Congreve, John Vanbrugh, Restoration drama, stranger, consciousness

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