On the 18th of January 1561, the Queen of England watched the gentlemen of the Inner Temple perform a play written by two members of her Parliament, Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton. It was the inaugural performance ofGorboduc
, the first tragedy written in the English language and also the first full-lengthsecular
English play that had severed all ties with the Church and the Churchyard. Nine months after this performance, probably on 22nd of September 1561, the first text ofGorboduc
was published and William Griffith’s version was later followed by John Day or Daye’s 1570 edition.
For the plot of their tragedy Sackville and Norton must have turned to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae or The History of the Kings of Britain completed in 1136. Neither over simple,
Citation: Kar Barua, Sudeshna. "Gorboduc". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=24349, accessed 29 February 2024.]