Thursday, July 12, 2007

1668 to 1673

Essay of Dramatic Poesy. John Dryden. British. 1668. Literary Criticism. Conversation about Greek, French and English drama. The merits of dramatists. Blank vs. rhymed verse in plays.

L'Avare (The Miser). Moliere. French. 1668. Play. Inhuman greed balanced by a happy ending. Old men, trying to marry young women, are deceived by young men.

Selected Fables, Set in Verse. LaFontaine. French. 1668/94. Fables in Verse. Gently ironic view of life and society. Free verse. Sense and moderation. Told for the pleasure of telling.

Britannicus. Racine. French. 1669. Play. From Tacitus. Political drama. Nero tries to win Junia, his half-brother Britannicus's beloved. He is foiled.

1670. Minute hands appear on watches for the first time.

1670. Tractatus Theologico Politicus by Baruch Spinoza is published anonymously. Spinoza shows that the Bible, if properly understood, gives no support to the intolerance of religious authorities and their interference in civil and political affairs. The book creates a furor.

Pense'es. Pascal. French. 1670/1844. Nonfiction. First edition was abridged. Edition published in 1844 was faithful to the original manuscript.

Tite et Berenice. Corneille. French. 1670. Play. Titus is to marry Domitia. However, Domitia is in love with Titus's brother, Domitian. Berenice, Queen of Judea, arrives and reawakens Titus's love for her. Fearing that she puts Titus in jeopardy, she leaves. Titus allows Domitia to marry Domitian. Racine and Corneille both wrote plays on the subject. Racine's was judged better.

Berenice. Racine. French. 1670. Play. The Emperor Titus learns that the Roman people object to his marrying the Queen of Palestine. The lovers part forever.

Samson Agonistes. Milton. British. 1671. Poetry. Captivity of blinded Samson among the Philistines; repudiates Delilah. Samson's efforts to renew his faith in God's support; modeled on Greek tragedy.

1672. The New York to Boston Post Road is laid out to speed coach travel between the second and third largest American cities.

1672. The Black Death flares up again in Europe, killing 60,000 at Lyons and hundreds of thousands at Naples in just 6 months.

1672. England's Charles II has judges and barristers wear wigs in court, a custom imported from France.

Bajazet. Racine. French. 1672. Play. Attempts to use Sultana Roxane to gain his freedom. She learns he is not sincere and he is executed. Sultan learns of Roxane's unfaithfulness and has her executed. Bajazet's lover commits suicide.

The Imaginary Invalid. (Malade imaginaire, Le). Moliere. French. 1673. Play. Moliere's last play. Hypochondriac pretends his death to discover his second wife's greed and his daughter's loyalty.

Mithridate. Racine. French. 1673. Play. Son vs. father in ancient Rome for the love of a young Greek girl, Monime.

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