[PDF Notes] Introduce John Lyly as a dramatist of the Elizabethan era

John Lyly (1554-1606) is the writer of a number of artistic and highly refined courtly plays mostly comedies.

He wrote solely for the fashionable lords and ladies of the court, and had no thought of the people or the popular stage. His plays are, therefore, models of refinement; he has the credit of writing the most artistic plays before Shakespeare.

The best of his plays are (a) Campuses, (b) Edition, (c) Midas, (d) Love’s Metamorphosis, (e) The Woman in the Moon, etc. He is the first to use prose as a medium for the drama. His prose is highly artistic, refined and artificial, but well-suited for the audience for which his plays were meant. In his witty dialogues he attains to true art. Lyly anticipates Shakespeare’s fusion of a courtly main-plot with rustic under-plot full of clown age and fooling.

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