Thomas Sackville, Gorboduc

Sudeshna Kar Barua (Independent Scholar - Asia)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

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 of


, the first tragedy written in the English language and also the first full-length


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 of


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,

1952 words

Citation: Kar Barua, Sudeshna. "Gorboduc". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2008 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

24349 Gorboduc 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.