Fatima Essadek

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The Elizabethan period witnessed a proliferation of Neo-Latin drama in Oxford and Cambridge universities and in the Inns of Court. Despite the sheer bulk of academic drama and its role in paving the way for the mature drama written in the vernacular, it has not yet received adequate critical attention. Consequently, this paper tries to shed some light on this neglected genre by presenting a reading of the surviving drama Solymannidae — a play which draws on the history of the Ottoman dynasty. In creating action and characters the anonymous playwright borrowed extensively from the classical dramatic conventions, but, at the same time, he was original in representing the Turkish cultural identity. The discussion unveils the drama’s pioneering role in introducing plots from Eastern history on the English stage and its contribution in formulating the dramaturgical practices to perform them. In this paper there is also an attempt to verify Solymannidae’s source. The present inquiry aims to extend our knowledge of English Neo-Latin drama which is customarily excluded from the mainstream of scholarship.


Solymannidae, Neo-Latin Drama, Ottoman history, Seneca

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