The Curious Impertinent on the Restoration Stage

Snider, Alvin
October 2006
Seventeenth Century;Autumn2006, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p315
Academic Journal
Absent from the scholarship on the reception of Cervantes in England is sustained critical attention to late seventeenth-century theatrical adaptations of ‘El curioso impertinente’. This essay attempts to fill the gap by focusing on Aphra Behn's The Amorous Prince , Thomas Southerne's The Disappointment , and John Crowne's The Married Beau . Bodily display occupies a central place in the English understanding of Don Quixote before 1700, and the figure of the inappropriately curious man assumes a prominent position in depictions of beauty and triangular desire that follow from the novel. The three playwrights find in the interpolated tale an occasion for joining to the theatrical conventions of their day Cervantes' complex representation of voyeurism, homosociality, and the anxiety-provoking power of women.


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