"As for mine”: Aphra Behn and Adaptations of City Comedies

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This article argues that Behn's dramaturgical style and experimentation can be illuminated by discussing her adaptations of earlier Jacobean city comedies: her adaptation of Middleton’s A Mad World My Masters and A Trick to Catch the Old One in The City Heiress (1682) allow us to identify and hypothesise signature adapting strategies, which help locate a discussion of the anonymous adaptation of Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan, The Revenge (1680). In particular, the article shows how her interest in performance spaces (illustrated by changing stage shutters and scenic spaces) is exemplified in the decisions the adaptor makes in altering the ‘original’ Jacobean texts for a restoration stage. Behn's archetypal interest in issues of gender and sexuality are explicitly staged using not only adaptations of texts but adaptations of stage spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-64
JournalRestoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2018


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