Thomas Otway

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Otway, Thomas,

1652–85, English dramatist, educated at Winchester and at Oxford. After failing as an actor, Otway wrote his first play, Alcibiades, produced in 1675. Later plays include the rhymed heroic tragedy Don Carlos (1672); an adaptation of Racine, called Titus and Berenice, (1676); and an adaptation of Molière, called The Cheats of Scapin. (1676). His two greatest plays are the blank-verse tragedies The Orphan (1680) and Venice Preserved (1682). Otway brought a sentimental pathos and romantic beauty to the formal manner of the Restoration heroic tragedy. He died in poverty at age 33.


See biography by R. G. Ham (1931, repr. 1969); studies by H. M. B. Pollard (1974) and D. P. Warner (1982).

References in periodicals archive ?
Thomas Otway, who consciously cast his play heavily with the Duke's most outstanding and seasoned players (Pollard 14), most likely created Tissaphernes with Sandford's performance in mind.
Sonnets xxvi and xxxn describe the poet's perception of the ghostlike presence of Thomas Otway, who was born in nearby Milland in 1652, with his father serving as rector of Woolbeding's All Hallows Church.
There has been an outburst of interest in Aphra Behn, and Munns has provided a long-overdue study of Thomas Otway, but what of Nathaniel Lee, Thomas D'Urfey, John Crowne?
The Rehearsal (1671), a play by George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, mocks the Restoration drama of Dryden and Thomas Otway.
References to The Orphan are taken from The Works of Thomas Otway, ed.
The unlucky prince was the subject of Schiller's tragedy Don Carlos and of dramas by Thomas Otway and Vittorio Alfieri.
But the works of Lee, Aphra Behn, Thomas Otway, Elkanah Settle, and Thomas Durfey--either in anticipation of or following Dryden's call for change--exhibit great individual experimentation within the form, and illustrate a myriad of possibilities for the "new" tragedy.