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M. W. MacCallum, Shakespeare's Roman Plays and their Background, Introduction, Chapter 1 (search)
man theme in the vernacular. In the vernacular, too, Grévin was inspired to rehandle the same theme as Muretus, obtaining from his predecessor most of his material and his apparatus. These experiments again were not without effect on the later dramas of Garnier, two of which were to leave a mark on English literature. The first regular tragedy as well as the first Roman history in the French language was the Cleopatre Captive of Jodelle, acted with great success in 1552 before Henry II. by Jodelle's friends, who at the subsequent banquet presented to him, in semipagan wise, a goat decked with flowers and ivy. The prologueAncien Theatre Francois, Tome iv. ed Viollet Le Duc. to the King describes the contents. C‘est une tragedie Qui d‘une voix plainti?? et hardie Te represente un Romain, Marc Antoine, Et Cleopatre, Egyptienne royne, Laquelle après qu‘Antoine, son amy, Estant desjà vaincu par l'ennemy, Se fust tué, ja se sentant captive, Et qu'on v