Philip Massinger

Definition

Theater

  • (1583 - 1640) Versatile English playwright who wrote orcollaborated on some 50 plays, of which nearly half are lost. At leasteight of his works were mistakenly used as liners for pie-dishes bythe servant of the antiquarian collector John Warbuton (see Warburton'scook).

    In 1625 Massinger became chief dramatist of the King's Menand produced his best known comedy, A New Way to Pay Old Debts.It was disregarded in the Restoration theater but has been constantlyrevived since the 18th century. The role of the rapacious Sir GilesOverreach has provided a vehicle for such actors as the American ThomasKean, who first played it in 1816, and for Donald Wolfit in the 1950s.

    Massinger's other works include the romances The Duke ofMilan (1620), The Great Duke of Florence (1627), and TheRoman Actor (1626), the comedies The City Madam (1632)and The Guardian (1633), and the tragicomedies The Bondman(1623) and The Renegado (1624). He also collaborated on 11 plays with John Fletcher, and may possibly have had a hand in Shakespeare and Fletcher's Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen.

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