Reference > Cambridge History > The Drama to 1642, Part One > The Plays of the University Wits > Lyly’s refining and intellectual influence on English Literature and Drama
  Introduction to the English stage of High Comedy: its essential features George Peele  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume V. The Drama to 1642, Part One.

VI. The Plays of the University Wits.

§ 8. Lyly’s refining and intellectual influence on English Literature and Drama.


If, then, Lyly looks back to an English, a continental and, even, a classical, past, for inspiration and models, he yet rises above his sources in an accomplishment which is individual and of not merely ephemeral significance, but of great importance to those who immediately follow him in the drama. He intellectualises the drama; he brings, not adaptation, but original work, into closest touch with the most cultivated men and women of the time; he unites the feminine to the already existent masculine elements in our drama; he attains, even if somewhat hazily, that great dramatic form, high comedy, and, attaining it, breaks the way for a large part of Shakespeare’s work.   14

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  Introduction to the English stage of High Comedy: its essential features George Peele  
 
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