When Thomas Otway’s

Don Carlos

was performed at Dorset Garden Theatre in June 1676, early Restoration rhymed heroic plays were almost out of fashion. In the Prologue to

Aureng-Zebe

(1675), John Dryden declared he had grown “weary of his long-lov’d Mistris, Rhyme” (Dryden 1995,

Prologue

8), yet Otway’s second stage effort – written in heroic couplets – triumphed and repaid its author for the failure of his abortive first tragedy,

Alcibiades

, which had been unsympathetically received one year earlier. John Downes records that Otway’s new play “lasted successively 10 days” and “got more money that any preceding Modern Tragedy” (Downes 1987, 36). The sensational success of

Don Carlos

was acknowledged and lampooned by the earl of Rochester in his

Session of the Poets

:…

2677 words

Citation: Calvi, Lisanna. "Don Carlos". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2012 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5552, accessed 12 June 2024.]

5552 Don Carlos 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.

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