John Lyly: Sapho and Phao

(984 words)

The second of Lyly's comedies written for the first Blackfriars theatre but ultimately designed for performance at court, Sapho and Phao, acted before the Queen on Shrove Tuesday 1584, has much in common with its predecessor Campaspe, produced at court on New Year's Day of the same year. Like Campaspe the play turns upon the love of a high-born person for someone of significantly lower rank and concludes with the monarch's conquest of a socially inappropriate passion. The action evolves, once again, through a species of debate, with the antithetical patterning of the euphuistic mode harnessed to the exploration of a series of topics close to the interests of an aristocratic coterie (e.g. the conflict between love …

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Scragg, Leah. "Sapho and Phao". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2002
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Elizabethan