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Early modern debate about the legitimacy of theater concerns the question of the author's authority in relation to that of the licensing authorities and their informers. Here the fear of misinterpretation generates a self-conscious metadrama, which expresses the ambiguity of authority in dramatic structures that aim to manipulate audiences' responses. Moreover, this metadrama acknowledges theater's own potential for complicity in social control and is often concerned with the interchangeability of authority figures, informers, and author-actors. These tensions and interconnections are embodied in the metadramatic representations of the tyrannous court of Caesar in Philip Massinger's The Roman Actor.