Thomas Otway

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
McBurney, "Otway's Tragic Muse Debauched: Sensuality in Venice Preserv'd," JEGP 58 (1959): 380-99; Gordon Williams, "The Sex-Death Motive in Otway's Venice Preserv'd," Trivium 2 (1969): 59-70; Derek Hughes, "A New Look at VenicePreserv'd,"SEL 11 (1971): 437-57, and English Drama, 1660-1700 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 300-6; Jessica Munns, Restoration Politics and Drama: The Plays of Thomas Otway, 1675-1683 (Newark: U.
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?
Ghosh mentions the use of Lucan in his edition of The Works of Thomas Otway (Oxford, 1932), i.45.
The Rehearsal (1671), a play by George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, mocks the Restoration drama of Dryden and Thomas Otway. John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb (1730), Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Critic (1779), and Henry Carey's "most tragical tragedy" Chrononhotonthologos (1734) are the outstanding survivals from an age when burlesque was cruelly satirical and often defamatory.
References to The Orphan are taken from The Works of Thomas Otway, ed.
23 it staged The Orphan by Thomas Otway. Performances were given until May 1737.
The unlucky prince was the subject of Schiller's tragedy Don Carlos and of dramas by Thomas Otway and Vittorio Alfieri.
Thomas Otway similarly adapted many of his roles for his friend Thomas Betterton and his object of worship, Elizabeth Barry (Portillo 7; Highfill 1: 315).
During a period of reorientation and transition Hofmannsthal experimented with Elizabethan and classical tragic forms, adapting Thomas Otway's Venice Preserv'd (1682) as Das gerettete Venedig (1905) and writing Elektra (1904).
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.
Taylor reflects upon the ideological significance of Sheridan's decision to add Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved to Drury Lane's 1795 repertoire, and invest in Henry Ireland's radically-inflected Shakespearean forgery, Vortigern.