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DON CARLOS, PRINCE OF SPAIN

A brief account of the play by Thomas Otway

The following article is reprinted from A Dictionary of the Drama. W. Davenport Adams. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1904.

Don Carlos, Prince of Spain, a tragedy in rhymed verse by Thomas Otway, was performed at Dorset Garden in 1676, with Smith in the title part, Betterton as Philip II of Spain, Medbourne as Ruy Gomez, Harris as Don John of Austria, Mrs. Mary Lee as the Queen of Spain, Mrs. Shadwell as the Duchess of Eboli, and Mrs. Gibbs as Henrietta. "I believe," says Langbaine, "that Otway chiefly followed the French novel of Don Carlos [by Saint-Réal], which is the most perfect account of that tragical story that I have met with." Betterton, it is recorded, told Booth that Don Carlos was infinitely more applauded, and better followed for many years, than either The Orphan or Venice Preserved. Schiller and Alfieri wrote tragedies on the same subject. "Alfieri's Philip," writes Roden Noel, "is as life-like and graphic a study of individuality as that of Saint-Réal or Schiller; whereas the Philip of Otway makes no pretence to being other than a mere conventional stage-tyrant, violent, and ever in extremes."

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