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.
Hussein A. Alhawamdeh is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Jordan. He earned his PhD in English Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011. His research interests revolve around the staging of Islam in Renaissance and Restoration drama and the adaptations/appropriations of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe in English and Arabic texts.