Reference > Cambridge History > The Drama to 1642, Part Two > University Plays > Fraunce’s Victoria; Academic Comedies
  Gager’s Meleager and Dido Hymenaeus; Laelia  


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

XII. University Plays.

§ 11. Fraunce’s Victoria; Academic Comedies.

But Seneca and Plautus were not the only exemplars with whom university dramatists were “well acquainted.” From about 1580 onwards, their productions in the sphere of comedy, even when written in Latin, had, usually, an Italian, and not a clasical, source. To this period belongs Victoria, by Abraham Fraunce of St. John’s, Cambridge, a metrical Latin version of Luigi Pasqualigo’s prose comedy II Fedele, published in 1575. This is a typical product of the southern stage, with a complicated intrigue between rivals for the favours of a married lady, with impersonations and disguisings and with the stock figures of a braggart and an enamoured pedant. Fraunce’s version, except for the addition of an episode taken from The Decameron, and the revision of portions of the later acts, is very close. It thus contrasts with the free English adaptation of Il Fedele by Anthony Munday, Fedele and Fortunio, wherein the braggart, who is called captain Crackstone, becomes the chief figure in the comedy. 20    24

Note 20. See ante, Vol. V, Chap. XIII, and bibl. Vol. V, pp.520–521 for an account of Munday’s play. [ back ]

  Gager’s Meleager and Dido Hymenaeus; Laelia  
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