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Neo-Latin Drama in the Low Countries

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Chapter Summary

The first generation of Latin playwrights wrote mainly biblical dramas, either as a kind of critical reaction to Latin comedy, or as a logical consequence of it. Whether intended to be polemical or not, the plays were often read in the light of the clash between Protestants and Catholics. The first original Neo-Latin play written and performed in the Low Countries had as its theme the Prodigal Son, from Luke 15, 11-32. There were many more biblical and other religious dramas written in this first phase in the Low Countries. The first generation of Latin playwrights in the Low Countries performed ancient comedies and also wrote other plays on biblical stories, or on classical or medieval subjects, as a logical consequence of their interest in classical drama. Around 1550 the first generation of Neo-Latin playwrights in the Low Countries died or stopped writing.

Keywords: biblical dramas; Latin comedy; Low Countries; Neo-Latin Drama; Prodigal Son



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