Moderation and religious criticism in William Cartwright's The Ordinary (1635)

Streete, A. (2016) Moderation and religious criticism in William Cartwright's The Ordinary (1635). Seventeenth Century, 31(1), pp. 17-36. (doi:10.1080/0268117X.2016.1145592)

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Building on the recent revival of critical interest in the drama of William Cartwright, this article explores the politics of religious moderation in his 1635 play The Ordinary. I situate the concept of moderation in Caroline England in relation to recent historical work on the subject, examining how Cartwright treats the subject in his poetry, where he argues that religious extremism inhibits the proper articulation of moderate politics. I then consider religious criticism in The Ordinary, suggesting that it attacks aspects of Puritan and Arminian theology alike. Although he ranges over a number of topics, Cartwright is particularly concerned with the way in which religious innovation is undermined by economic unfairness, incompetence, and greed. The play shows how Caroline comedy engages with polemical culture in subtle and sophisticated ways.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Streete, Professor Adrian
Authors: Streete, A.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Seventeenth Century
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN (Online):2050-4616
Published Online:04 April 2016

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