Dramatists of the baroque period Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist and playwright best known for his novel, Don Quixote. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English playwright and poet whose major works include King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night. Lope de Vega (1562-1635) Spanish poet, playwright and novelist who, along with Calderón, dominated the stage during Spain's Golden Age. Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet who collaborated with architect Inigo Jones on the production of masques for the Stuart court. Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-81) One of the leading playwrights of Spain's Golden Age, known for his autos sacramentales, one-act religious plays. Pierre Corneille (1606-84) French dramatist and poet, one of the dominant figures in the evolution of seventeenth-century neoclassical drama. Jean BaptistePoquelinMolière (1622-73) French actor-manager and dramatist, one of the theatre's greatest comic artists. John Dryden (1631-1700) Playwright whose heroic dramas, comedies, and tragedies dominated the English stage during the Restoration period. Philippe Quinault (1635-88) French dramatist and librettist who collaborated with Lully on a number of large-scale operas. Jean-Baptiste Lully (1637-82) Italian musician and composer whose career was spent in France, where he dominated musical life for three decades. Jean Racine (1639-99) The leading tragedian of seventeenth-century France, his plays include Phèdre, Esther, and Athalie. Reproduced with permission from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, edited by Martin Banham. Copyright (c) Cambridge University Press 1988, 1992, 1995. All Rights Reserved.
How would you characterize the relationship between the Catholic Church and the theater? How did the Church use the stage to support its authority, and how was the theater viewed as a threat by Rome?
For the baroque artist, the world truly was a stage, reflecting the ever-present tensions of a changing world. Counter-Reformation theologians, challenged by new religious and scientific theories, strove to reestablish traditional perceptions of an ordered world. These ongoing controversies shaped the baroque view of the universe, paradoxically typified by both tension and order. Baroque artists and playwrights rose to the occasion with boundless energy and explosive creativity, questioning and redefining the relationship between art and life.