Wednesday, December 19, 2018

ANTINOUS THE STAGE DRAMA
MOVED VICTORIANS TO TEARS


IN the late 19th and early 20th Century numerous novels were written about Antinous in all major European languages ... and even a stage play.

Novelist Abbe Carter Goodloe (1867-1960) wrote many popular works of fiction. But her first major work was the play "Antinous: A Tragedy" (1891), published just two years after her graduation from Wellesley College. 

It is a five-act play written in neo-Shakespearean blank verse.

The preface to the play says:

"In this drama no attempt at historical accuracy has been made, with the exception of the portrayal, such as it is, of the character of Hadrian. 

"And even that has been but very indifferently done; not only defective because of the literary difficulties of such an effort, but because primarily it is not very easy to discover what Hadrian's character really was. 

"His nature seems to have been composed of the most contradictory qualities.

Hadrian had great vices, an inordinate desire to be first in everything, and consequently a malignant envy of the merit of others; he was restless, capricious, and ungrateful. 

"He has even been accused of a leaning towards cruelty. But as he was a sagacious prince, he appreciated how his vices, if he did not control them, would tell against him, and vanity (for he was very vain) impelled him to affect virtue, at least externally.

"His good qualities, and he had many, seemed always to be counterbalanced by opposing vices."

You can find copies of her play online, and a full transcript of the five-act play by clicking HERE.


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