Sederi Yearbook 32

Sederi 32
Sederi 32 — 2022
Marta Cerezo Moreno
Isabel Guerrero Llorente
Miguel Ramalhete
ISSN 1135-7789

Cristina Paravano, “’Remembrance of things past’: Classical and Renaissance echoes in Philip Massinger’s The Roman Actor.” SEDERI 32 (2022): 87‒110

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This essay discusses Philip Massinger’s The Roman Actor (1626) as an example of the profoundly composite nature of early modern dramatic texts. Massinger placed borrowings and echoes from several classical and early modern texts in a new context, arguably counting on audiences’ pleasure of recognition. Focusing on sources which have not received enough critical attention, this essay investigates the influence of classical authors like Tacitus and Statius, and the impact of other Massingerian plays to shed light on the way the playwright appropriated and refashioned some sources to suit his tragedy’s political agenda.

Keywords: The Roman Actor; Massinger; audience; sources; refashioning.


Primary sources

Edwards and Gibson 1976a. See Massinger 1976a.

Edwards and Gibson 1976b. See Massinger 1976b.

Fletcher, John, and Philip Massinger. (1622) 1994. The Double Marriage, edited by Cyrus Hoy. In The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, general editor Fredson Bowers, vol.9, 105−220. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hoy 1994. See Fletcher and Massinger 1994.

Jonson, Ben. (1603) 2012. Sejanus, edited by Tom Cain. In The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson, edited by David Bevington, Martin Butler, and Ian Donaldson, 7 vols., vol. 2, 212−391. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

“Loeb Classical Library.” Harvard University Press. Accessed 23 July 2022.

Massinger, Philip. (1626) 1976a. The Roman Actor. In The Plays and Poems of Philip Massinger. Vol. 3, edited by Philip Edwards and Colin A. Gibson, 13−98. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Massinger, Philip. (1622–1625) 1976b. The Maid of Honour. In The Plays and Poems of Philip Massinger. Vol. 1, edited by Philip Edwards and Colin A. Gibson, 117−198. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Massinger, Philip. (1626) 2007. The Roman Actor, edited by Martin White. Revels Plays. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Shakespeare, William. (1600) 2005. Hamlet. In The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, edited by Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery, 681−718. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Statius. 2015. Silvae, edited and translated by D. R. Shackleton Bailey; with corrections by Christopher A. Parrott. Cambridge, MA and London: Cambridge University Press.

Tacitus. 1999. Agricola and Germany, edited by Anthony R. Birley. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tacitus. 2017. The Annals of Tacitus, edited by A. J. Woodman. Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

White 2007. See Massinger 2007.

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