Publication details

“I hope we shall grow wiser in the End” : Romeo and Juliet in the midst of Restoration Party Politics



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Upon the formation of the two political parties in England after the Exclusion Crisis in the late 1670s and early 1680s, a number of playwrights of the period either took sides in current political debates or in their works expressed regret over party strife. It might be argued that a loose subgenre of political drama at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries was plays setting a story of unhappy lovers from rival families (which were either openly or covertly based of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) within the framework of current political animosities. This paper will focus on three such works - Thomas Otway’s Caius Marius (1679), Benjamin Griffin’s Whig and Tory (1720), and John Sturmy’s The Compromise (1722) – observing how the tone of these versions of the common story changed with the general political climate in the country: from a bloody tragedy to light-hearted melodramatic comedies.
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