And this first tragedy, written by Norton and Sackville, is called Gorboduc, and is founded upon the legend of Gorboduc, King of Britain.
The story goes that Gorboduc, King of Britain, divided his realm during his lifetime between his sons Ferrex and Porrex.
In Gorboduc there are several scenes, and the action, although we are not told how long, must last over several months at least.
A direct imitation of Seneca, famous as the first tragedy in English on classical lines, was the 'Gorboduc, or Ferrex and Porrex,' of Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, acted in 1562.
'Gorboduc,' gave it an immediate and lasting vogue for tragedy and high comedy.
The book's three appendices--a listing of "literary men" at the Inns, a listing of first edition of classical translations, and a description of a performance of Gorboduc
at the Inner Temple--suggest multiple directions for further research.
When in 1561 Thomas Norton's and Thomas Sackville's Gorboduc
was first performed at the Inner Temple as part of the Christmas and New Year festivities, performances of tyrannical characters were not new.
He had therefore collaborated with the gentlemen of both the Inner Temple and Gray's Inn in January 1562 to set up a masque, Desire and Lady Beauty, and the tragedy Gorboduc
by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville.
In 1565 and again around 1570, editions of Gorboduc
became the first to boast such a credential and Damon and Pithias followed its precedent with editions in 1571 and 1582.
First, he praises Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton's Inns of Court play, Gorboduc
(first performed in 1561; printed in 1565), in Horatian terms as 'full of notable morality, which it doth most delightfully teach', then criticises it as 'very defectuous in the circumstances'; in its failure to observe the Aristotelian unities, it is 'faulty both in place and time' and so 'might not remain as an exact model of all tragedies'.
In 1562 Thomas Norton--co-author of Gorboduc
, the first English play in blank verse--published a translation of the Latin version of Calvin's Institutes.
In 1562, Gorboduc
by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville was performed; in 1642, the theatres were closed by Act of Parliament.