Sir William Davenant

(1606 - 1668 / England)

Sir William Davenant
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Sir William Davenant (or D'Avenant), dramatist and theater manager, poet and courtier, is a link between the older Elizabethan and Jacobean drama and the new Restoration drama. From his innovations improving the platform stage our modern playhouse is derived; he refined the genre of the heroic drama with the accompanying themes of love and honor; by tradition he first brought women onto the English stage; and his dramas influenced those of the next several generations, particularly John Dryden's. If he is remembered only for his "adaptations" of Shakespeare we do him disservice.

Davenant was born in Oxford in late February 1606, the son of John Davenant, vinter and ... more »

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Best Poem of Sir William Davenant

Praise And Prayer

PRAISE is devotion fit for mighty minds,
   The diff'ring world's agreeing sacrifice;
Where Heaven divided faiths united finds:
   But Prayer in various discord upward flies.

For Prayer the ocean is where diversely
   Men steer their course, each to a sev'ral coast;
Where all our interests so discordant be
   That half beg winds by which the rest are lost.

By Penitence when we ourselves forsake,
'Tis but in wise design on piteous Heaven;
In Praise we nobly give what God may take, ...

Read the full of Praise And Prayer

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