Matthew Medbourne’s St. Cecily : or, The Converted Twins : The Medieval Saint as a Restoration Papist

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Rok publikování 2020
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis The paper will discuss the tragedy St. Cecily: or, The Converted Twins, a rare example of a Restoration religious play, concerned with the martyrdom of St. Cecilia, written by the Catholic actor and playwright Matthew Medbourne in 1666 and dedicated to Catherine of Braganza, the then new wife of King Charles II. As Monika Fludernik has recently demonstrated, early-modern English plays about female martyrs could be (and probably originally were) seen as veiled and ambiguous commentaries on the then current political and religious conflicts in the country. However, virtually no attention has been paid so far to Medbourne's play, perhaps because of its rather mediocre literary quality and the fact that it was never staged in its own time. This paper will examine it through the prism of the conflict between the Protestant establishment and the English Catholic minority in the 1660s, which ultimately culminated in the Exclusion Crisis in the late 1670s and the Glorious revolution of 1688. I will argue that, especially in Cecilia’s final confrontation with judge Almachius, the medieval saint becomes a speaker for the Catholic cause, exposing the tyranny of the Anglican establishment, while appealing to the English King for the tolerance of Catholic faith.
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