Chapter

Counter-Reformation Tragedy

Blair Hoxby

in What Was Tragedy?

Published in print October 2015 | ISBN: 9780198749165
Published online October 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191813283 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749165.003.0005
Counter-Reformation Tragedy

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Twentieth-century critics claim that drama cannot be both Christian and tragic at once, and when they do make an exception it is for the Calvinist or Jansenist tragedy of damnation. As staunch opponents of both of these strains of Augustinian piety, the Jesuits, who may have produced 100,000 tragedies before 1773, find no place in such accounts. Focusing on Bernardino Stefonio’s Crispus (1597), Calderón’s The Constant Prince (1629), and Corneille’s Polyeucte (1644), this chapter reconstructs the theory and dramaturgy of rounter-reformation martyr tragedies. It argues that Molinism supports a dramaturgy that frets over the competing claims of God’s providence and man’s free will while doing so in terms that are distinct from the implicitly Lutheran account of necessity and free will offered by German idealists such as Schelling and Hölderlin.

Keywords: Calderón; Il principe constante; Corneille; Polyeucte; counter-reformation tragedy; Jesuit tragedy; martyr tragedy; martyr drama; Stefonio; Crispus; Alessandro Donati; Tarquinio Galluzzi; Collegio Romano

Chapter.  29013 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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