The Cultural Transformation of the Trope of the Renegade in Late Seventeenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century English Drama

John Dryden’s Don Sebastian and Frederick Reynolds’s The Renegade

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 University of Jordan, Jordan
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This article examines the transformation of the trope of the renegade character in late seventeenth-and early nineteenth-century English drama, as represented by John Dryden’s Don Sebastian (1689) and its adaptation by Frederick Reynolds as The Renegade (1812). Reynolds adopts the trope of Restoration ‘cultural renegade’, or what I call ‘Restoration gone cultural revolutionary protagonist’, to reflect on the military alliance between England of George III and the Oriental Muslims in Egypt in 1801 against their common enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte. The renegade character in the plays of Dryden and Reynolds transcends religious limitations of the negative connotations of betrayal and fosters cross-cultural interactions.