Title page for ETD etd-04262012-221519

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Nelson, Christopher William
URN etd-04262012-221519
Title Perception, Power, Plays, and Print: Charles II and the Restoration Theatre of Consensus
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Theatre
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Clemons, Leigh Committee Chair
Cope, Kevin Committee Member
Fletcher, John Committee Member
Stater, Victor Committee Member
Suchy, Patricia Dean's Representative
  • printing press
  • Restoration
  • theatre
  • comedy
  • heroic play
  • Plays
  • Orrery
  • Stuart
  • Charles II
  • Dryden
Date of Defense 2012-04-23
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation aims to establish the importance of Charles II in the shaping and evolution of Restoration theatre. Even more so than the playwrights themselves, Charles II determined the future of the theatre, both by his conscious efforts to do so, as well as unintentionally through his own behavior and image. The tradition of Restoration theatre began in 1660 with Charles’s efforts at establishing a consensus theatre, in which it would appear that he enjoyed unanimous support for his return to England from exile. Consensus theatre was determined by the perception of Charles’s rule and character, his power to manipulate the new theatre companies and which playwrights wrote and what they wrote, and his person, or popular image. This attempt at consensus began to fail within a few years of Charles’s coming, although his image continued to dominate the theatre, even if only through sometimes negative reactions to his personal image. This influence on theatre continued until his death in 1685.
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