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Nathaniel Lee

( English playwright)

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Biography Nathaniel Lee
LEE, NATHANIEL (Lee, Nathaniel) (1653-1692), English playwright, considered one of the greatest authors of the tragedy of the Restoration. Born probably in 1653 in Uoltemstou (Essex), however, the exact date and place of birth unknown. Educated Charterhouse School in London, in 1665 entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1669 received a Bachelor of Arts. Having failed to stage the stage of London, became a playwright.

His early plays - written on the historical material of tragedy, gravitating to the heroic drama. Nero (Nero, 1674) had no particular success, two subsequent plays, "Sofonizba" (Sophonisba, 1675) and "Gloriana" (Gloriana, 1676), gained great popularity. The fourth piece, "Queen-rival, or Death of Alexander the Great" (The Rival Queens, or the Death of Alexander the Great, 1677) - the first tragedy of the Restoration period, written by a white verse, rather than the heroic couplets. In 1678 Lee has created two pieces - "Mithridates," "king of Pontus" (Mithridates, King of Pontus) and "Oedipus" (Oedipus), the latest co-authored with D. Draydenom.

Since then, the work of Lee came a series of misfortunes. His next play "Massacre in Paris" (The Massacre of Paris) has been banned for political reasons, because it contained echoes of the so-called popish plot, then stirred up the whole of England. The play "Caesar Borgia" (Caesar Borgia, 1679) was received by the public is cool. But Lee took revenge by writing his only comedy "The Princess of Cleves" (The Princess of Cleve, 1680) - the novel by M. Lafayette. This was followed by a sentimental tragedy "Theodosius, or the Power of Love" (Theodosius, or the Force of Love, 1680). At the end of that year was put "Lucius Junius Brutus" (Lucius Junius Brutus), but after six representations of the play was banned for preaching republican ideas. In 1682, after a quarrel with the Whigs, Lee joined the Tories and in collaboration with Draydenom wrote the play "The Duke of Guise" (The Duke of Guise), which sought to please the court of Charles II. The play "Constantine the Great" (Constantine The Great, 1683) sounded like an apology for the Tories.

The last years of his life have been tragic Lee. In November 1684 the doctors declared him mentally ill and placed in Bedlam (Bethlehem Royal psychiatric hospital), where he remained until 1688. After the hospital he had not written a single line. Lee died in London in early May 1692.


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