Of the three Shakespeare’s plays that Dryden adapted for Restoration audiences, Troilus and Cressida, Or Truth Found too Late hardly stands out as artistically memorable. The lavish, loose structure of Shakespeare’s original play had come across as redundant and inconclusive ever since its appearance; this encouraged Dryden to reduce it drastically according to Aristotelian principles of unity and retribution. Accordingly, he turned the traditionally cheating Cressida into an unlikely paragon of virtue. Despite its flaws, Truth Found too Late is important to understand Dryden’s theoretical posi- tion on the theatre at the time. Not only is the play preceded by an important theoretical text that extols Shakespeare’s theatre: it features Shakespeare as a character. It is “Shakespeare’s Ghost”, in the Prologue, that reaffirms the superior value of the national tradition over Hom- er’s authority as source for the Trojan events, thus revealing Dryden’s loyalty to the British myth of the Trojan founders. Ultimately, though, Dryden came to consider Shakespeare and Homer as deeply akin, and his long-standing admiration of Shakespeare extended to Homer. In his final years, Dryden translated the first book of the Iliad with great gusto and success and helped Homer make his entrance into the Western canon.

CLASSICAL MODELS AND NATIONAL THEATRE IN DRYDEN’S «TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, OR THE TRUTH FOUND TOO LATE» / Prosperi, Valentina. - In: VICHIANA. - ISSN 0042-5079. - LIII:1-2(2016), pp. 147-159.

CLASSICAL MODELS AND NATIONAL THEATRE IN DRYDEN’S «TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, OR THE TRUTH FOUND TOO LATE»

PROSPERI, Valentina
2016

Abstract

Of the three Shakespeare’s plays that Dryden adapted for Restoration audiences, Troilus and Cressida, Or Truth Found too Late hardly stands out as artistically memorable. The lavish, loose structure of Shakespeare’s original play had come across as redundant and inconclusive ever since its appearance; this encouraged Dryden to reduce it drastically according to Aristotelian principles of unity and retribution. Accordingly, he turned the traditionally cheating Cressida into an unlikely paragon of virtue. Despite its flaws, Truth Found too Late is important to understand Dryden’s theoretical posi- tion on the theatre at the time. Not only is the play preceded by an important theoretical text that extols Shakespeare’s theatre: it features Shakespeare as a character. It is “Shakespeare’s Ghost”, in the Prologue, that reaffirms the superior value of the national tradition over Hom- er’s authority as source for the Trojan events, thus revealing Dryden’s loyalty to the British myth of the Trojan founders. Ultimately, though, Dryden came to consider Shakespeare and Homer as deeply akin, and his long-standing admiration of Shakespeare extended to Homer. In his final years, Dryden translated the first book of the Iliad with great gusto and success and helped Homer make his entrance into the Western canon.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11388/166069
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