John Lyly: Campaspe

(1076 words)

The first play by John Lyly, the eldest of the “university wits”, Campaspe has some claim to be regarded as launching that phenomenal outburst of creativity that constitutes the drama of the English Renaissance. The play was written for a company of boy actors performing at the first Blackfriars theatre and, like Lyly's later plays for the same venue, was ultimately designed for performance at court. The plot turns upon the love of Alexander the Great for a low-born Theban captive (Campaspe) and closes upon his decision to conquer his affections and permit her to marry the man of her choice. The interest of the play does not lie, however, in the psychological struggle that Alexander undergoes or the dilemma in which Campaspe i…

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Scragg, Leah. "Campaspe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2002
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]