Reference > Cambridge History > The Drama to 1642, Part One > Early English Tragedy > Kynge Johan
  Horestes Gorboduc and its political significance: its advance on Senecan Tragedy and early Tragicomedy  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume V. The Drama to 1642, Part One.

IV. Early English Tragedy.

§ 7. Kynge Johan.


In Bale’s Kynge Johan, historical facts and characters are adapted to religious, or, rather, controversial, ends with elaborate ingenuity; but the spirit and method of the drama remain those of the moral play. The character of the king alone maintains, throughout, a well defined personality. It is not until nearly the end of the first of the two acts that Sedition assumes the name of Stephen Langton, Usurped Power becomes the pope, Private Wealth becomes Pandulphus and Dissimulation Raymundus. Later, Dissimulation gives his name as “Simon of Swynsett,” and, obviously, is Raymundus no longer. After the king’s death, the action—if, indeed, there can be said to be any—is carried on entirely by abstractions. In spite of some interesting features, Kynge Johan belongs substantially to an earlier type than the group of plays just considered, and is, indeed, probably of earlier date.   9

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Horestes Gorboduc and its political significance: its advance on Senecan Tragedy and early Tragicomedy  
 
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