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(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 proprietor of ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Before we shall again behold
    In his diurnal race the world's great eye,
    We may as silent be and cold
    As are the shades where buried lovers lie.''
    Sir William Davenant (1606-1668), British poet. Endimion Porter and Olivia (l. 1-4). OBS. Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse, The. H. J. C. ...
  • ''Go! climb that rock, and when thou there hast found
    A star, contracted in a diamond,''
    Sir William Davenant (1606-1668), British poet. For the Lady Olivia Porter; a Present upon a New Year's Day (l. 5-6). OBS. Oxford Book of Seventee...
  • Go! dive into the Southern Sea, and when
    Th'ast found, to trouble the nice sight of men,
    A swelling pearl, and such whose single worth
    Boasts all the wonders which the seas bring ...
    Sir William Davenant (1606-1668), British poet. For the Lady Olivia Porter; a Present upon a New Year's Day (l. 9-14). OBS. Oxford Book of Sevente...
  • ''Your Beauty, ripe, and calm, and fresh,
    As Eastern Summers are,
    Must now, forsaking Time and Flesh,
    Add light to some small Star.''
    Sir William Davenant (1606-1668), British poet. Lover and Philosopher (l. 1-4). OBEV. Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Qui...
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